Gmail Has Been Blocked In China, Great Firewall Internet Censorship Likely Behind
Gmail has been blocked in China after months of disruptions. Many Gmail web addresses were blocked and were inactive over the weekend. Users said the service was down on Monday as well.
Gmail website has been inaccessible in China since June, however users could use it via various protocols such as IMAP, SMTP and POP3 in third party email apps.
"I think the government is just trying to further eliminate Google's presence in China and even weaken its market overseas," a member of GreatFire.org, a China-based freedom of speech advocacy group, told Reuters. "Imagine if Gmail users might not get through to Chinese clients. Many people outside China might be forced to switch away from Gmail."
Google's Transparency Report also showed that the Gmail traffic in China dropped drastically after Christmas.
The "Great Firewall" is one the world's most sophisticated Internet censorship program, originating in China.
Chinese Foreign ministry said that it was not aware of the Gmail blocking.
"China has consistently had a welcoming and supportive attitude towards foreign investors doing legitimate business here," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, said according to Reuters. "We will, as always, provide an open, transparent and good environment for foreign companies in China."
China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey are among the countries that have been disrupting Google services recently.