The e-mail service of Google in China has been restored, according to some users who were able to access their accounts on mobile devices.
Some users posted a message on Twitter Inc (TWTR) that they already accessed their accounts on G-mail. Other said they can’t log-in to their accounts until now.
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Google did not provide immediate comment or explanation regarding the issue. However, a spokesperson for the search engine giant said data from the search engine’s website showed a slight increase in users’ traffic on Gmail in China on Tuesday and a sudden drop starting last Friday
Gmail now but other Google services blocked by China last June
Last June, China blocked most of the services of Google prior to the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protest. Chinese users were able to access their G-mail accounts using third-party e-mail applications such as the Outlook from Microsoft Corporation or Mail clients from Apple Inc (AAPL). These apps were also completely blocked.
China’s Global Times (English Edition) commented that the G-mail outage in the county ignited unnecessary speculations and encouraged Chinese users to have faith in the Chinese government’s logic in internet policy.
The Global Times opined that if the Chinese government indeed blocked access to G-mail, authorities probably made the decision due to security reasons. “If that is the case, Gmail users need to accept the reality of Gmail being suspended in China. But we hope it is not the case,” according to the newspaper.
Gmail – China targeting loophole
For years, China and Google have a complicated relationship reflected by the fact that the search engine giant decided to move its servers overseas and search service to Hong Kong.
G-mail remains popular among Chinese users despite the persistent disruption in the service. The number of users in the country increased after they discovered that they can access their accounts using third-party POP and IMAP clients.
There had been speculations that the Chinese government is targeting the loophole, but a government official stated that he has no knowledge regarding the recently outage of Google’s G-mail. The service is one of the few remaining communication channels in China that is encrypted or local servers.