Gmail becomes latest victim of the Great Firewall of China

Gmail has been blocked over in China, as the country turns the screws further clamping down on Google services.

According to a report in the Guardian, GreatFire.org, a Chinese internet freedom group, said that the email service was largely cut off on Friday, with many Gmail users unable to access their accounts any longer.

Google’s transparency report backed up this state of affairs, showing that traffic dropped like a stone just before the weekend. Services are apparently still down this morning, and Google said that the disruption certainly wasn’t due to anything on its side.

A member of GreatFire.org observed: “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.”

Previously, Gmail had been blocked by China in browsers, but Chinese users had still been able to access the service via third-party clients such as Outlook. However, these workarounds no longer function.

Access to Gmail is still possible via VPN – if you can find a good one that hasn’t also been blocked out by Chinese authorities, that is.

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