The exact reasons for the Gmail blackout in China are unknown, both parties (China, and Google) can be blamed for this halt in the service. Ever since last Friday, there has been a huge disruption of Gmail users in China, according to Global Times.
An editorial published by major Chinese websites said it was hasty of western media to blame the block on the tightening control of the internet in the country, because it was Google who chose to withdraw from Chinese mainland years ago. So now, there is the issue of whose fault is it and how to let Google abide by laws set in China. This may be the reason that the blackout is occurring, but this is simply speculation.
Ever since December 26th Gmail was inaccessible to some users, some used ways to avoid it such as Outlook, and other forms of email clients to avoid it. However, the only way to get access to Gmail now is through a VPN service such as HotSpot Shield.
China has tightened its internet services for some time now as it tries to gauge a fair balance between the openness of the Internet and the security of the country. Neither Google or the Chinese Government have made public statements on the outage, but it would seem that it is only angering the citizens.
The editorial from the Chinese media also continued to state that “If Gmail is indeed blocked by China, then there must be some new development or major concerns about safety issues … If this is the case, Chinese users should accept the fact that Gmail service is suspended in China. However, we hope it is not the case,” said the editorial.” To most of us this sounds like it came from a government official despite the newspaper being independent of it.
However, if what the editorial says is true then services such as Outlook, and Dropbox should also be blocked but they don’t appear to be. Some commentators believe that it might be because the Chinese government is unable to gain access and control Gmail like they could with other services. However, there is no evidence to support their statements or the implications that it would bring forth.
Whatever is occurring, the Chinese citizens are probably having it rough at least until the issues is resolved.