Gmail access is partly restored in China, as per a few reports and also Google’s own concurrent traffic graphs. The knock in traffic follows a multi-day collapse that started just after Christmas, which saw Gmail clients obstructed from utilizing a workaround that permitted them to download their messages through third-party applications like Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook which utilize POP, SMAP and IMAP. The most recent outage seemed to have shut that last loophole, blocking Gmail completely in the state.
The only way for organizations and individuals to get around China’s web restriction is to utilize a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that permits unhindered access to blocked websites and services.
Today, though, a few clients on Twitter are saying access has been restored. In the meantime, Chinese state-run media is blaming Google, saying it could have been the cause behind the transitory blockage. The English edition of China’s Global Times said the anomaly fueled “superfluous rumor,” noting that “we have to have confidence that China has its own particular rationale regarding Internet approach and it is made and runs as per the nation’s principal interests.”
The paper proceeded, “if the China side certainly blocked Gmail, the verdict must have been provoked by recently risen security reasons. If that is the situation, Gmail clients need to acknowledge the truth of Gmail being suspended in China. However, we anticipate it is not the situation.”
At the time of our report on the blockage recently, a Google representative for Asia said “we’ve checked and there’s nothing wrong on our end.”
We approached Google for an overhaul on the blockage and affirmation of the restored access early today, and the organization said, again, that there was never anything officially wrong on its side.
The recovery of service doesn’t have all the earmarks of being finished as of the time of writing. The traffic is mountaineering once more, yet is not close to the prior levels seen before the Christmas blockage. A few clients are reporting having access again, while others say they don’t. One client on Twitter noted they had access for a couple of hours last night however now have none.