Gmail Inaccessible in China After Government Block Service

Posted by at 12:48 pm on December 29, 2014

gmail-logoChina has blocked Gmail, preventing users in the country from accessing the email service, according to reports. Starting from December 26, Chinese authorities have reportedly added Gmail URLs to the “Great Firewall,” in what is believed to be an attempt by the country’s government to reduce Gmail and Google’s prominence in the region, on top of earlier censorship efforts.

One member of advocacy group GreatFire.org told Reuters that Gmail went offline in the country on Friday, and continues to be down today. A Transparency Report compiled by Google shows a similar story, with web traffic to Gmail suddenly reducing on the 26th, before being shut off almost completely by the 27th. A Singapore-based spokesperson for the search company claims there’s “nothing wrong on our end,” suggesting that the issues stem from within China itself.

“I think the government is just trying to further eliminate Google’s presence in China and even weaken its market overseas,” said the GreatFire member. “Imagine if Gmail users might not get through to Chinese clients. Many people outside China might be forced to switch away from Gmail.”

While this is far from being the first instance of Chinese officials interfering with Google’s online services in China, the country stepped up its efforts significantly this year. In June, before the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, China blocked the majority of Google’s services, though Gmail users could still access their accounts using IMAP, STMP, and POP3 until last week.

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