Google’s Gmail Service Blocked in China
Gmail was banned in Mainland China earlier this year, however, people were able to exchange messages, videos, pictures through the mailing service. Protocols like IMAP, SMTP and POP3 and third-party apps such as Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail aided users to access Gmail but now, even that isn’t possible as the Chinese government closed the loophole. As per a recent revelation, the government has permanently shunned Gmail in the country behind the Great Firewall.
Google has continuously been observing a major traffic dip in Gmail from China and this has been evident through Google’s Transparency Report. A spokesperson from the firm said that there had been no issues from the company’s side, which could have led to this action, “We’ve checked and there’s nothing wrong on our end.”
The China-based freedom of speech advocacy group GreatFire.org argued that this is a step towards completely banishing Google from China,
I think the government is just trying to further eliminate Google’s presence in China and even weaken its market overseas. Imagine if Gmail users might not get through to Chinese clients. Many people outside China might be forced to switch away from Gmail.
The East Asia’s sovereign state has made a firm boundary around itself called Great Firewall of China, which it says is a sophisticated internet censorship mechanism. This wall restricts the Chinese audience to interact with rest of the world. The decision will lead to an awkward situation for companies doing business, as almost all use Gmail to exchange conversation.
However, the Chinese government has regulated the ban, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that she has no clue about the ban. Chunying added to her statement that the government is committed to provide a healthy business environment to foreign investors, “China has consistently had a welcoming and supportive attitude towards foreign investors doing legitimate business here. We will, as always, provide an open, transparent and good environment for foreign companies in China.”
Meanwhile, as the mailing service is blocked, the users out there are left with just one alternative, Virtual Private Networks (VPN). The Gmail ban hasn’t come a surprise decision as the country has a long list of restricted websites. Along with Google Docs, Google Drive, YouTube, Twitter and many more sites blocked earlier, the recent block record includes Instagram, Dropbox, Google Maps, Google and a few more.