Gmail Blocked In China, Great Firewall Suspected


The search giant’s Gmail services have been blocked in China after months of disruptions to the world biggest email services. Experts suspect the Great Firewall for the blockader

Large numbers of Gmail web addresses were cut off in China, said GreatFire.org, a China-based freedom of speech advocacy group. Users admitted that the service was still down three days later.

A member of GreatFire.org, who uses a pseudonym anticipated that the government is just trying to further eliminate Google’s presence in China and even weaken its market overseas.

He also warned of serious consequences that if Gmail users not get through to Chinese clients than many people outside China might be forced to switch away from Gmail.

Google’s own Transparency Report, which shows real-time traffic to Google services, displayed a sharp drop-off in traffic to Gmail from China.

Replying to an email, a Singapore-based spokesman for Google said, their was nothing wrong on their side.

Almost all of Google’s services have been heavily disrupted in China since June this year, but until last week Gmail users could still access emails downloaded via protocols like IMAP, SMTP and POP3. These had let people communicate using Gmail on apps like the Apple iPhone’s Mail and Microsoft Outlook.

The government of China maintains tight control over the internet, nipping in the bud any signs of dissent or challenges to the ruling Communist Party’s leadership.

The country is host to the world’s most sophisticated internet censorship mechanism, known as the Great Firewall of China.

Critics say China has stepped up its disruption of foreign online services like Google over the past year to create an internet cut off from the rest of the world.

Importantly, the Google disruption began in the run-up to the 25th anniversary of the government’s bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.

Experts say, Gmail’s setback could make email communication difficult for companies operating in China which use Google’s Gmail for their corporate email system.

One popular way for companies and people to get around China’s internet censorship is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which allows unhindered access to blocked sites and services.

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