back to article Gmail falls over after hitting 'Great Firewall of China' – report

Large numbers of Google's Gmail web addresses were reportedly blocked in China over the weekend. The disruption occurred on Friday, according to, a China-based freedom of speech group. One Gmail user complained on Twitter yesterday that domestic suppliers could not send emails to Gmail accounts and described the …

  1. Buzzword


    There's more than a hint of old-fashioned protectionism. We know that blocking imports of physical goods favours domestic producers. Similarly, blocking "imports" of online services also favours domestic companies. With the added benefit of being able to spy on them more easily.

    1. Gary Bickford

      Re: Protectionism

      Yes. Google + US might well consider filing a WTO complaint.

      1. Mephistro
        Thumb Up

        Re: Protectionism (Gary Bickford)

        I saw what you did there! ;-)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey. A rouges gallery. The only things needed to complete it as the worst of the worst in the world is the addition of Cuba and North Korea. How'd El Reg miss them? Does Gmail work in them?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Eh...

      "China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Turkey. A rouges gallery."

      I'd think "a verdant gallery" more appropriate since only China is red. The rest all seem to prefer islamic green.

  3. Stephen 11

    Not just Gmail

    They have not only blocked pop/imap access Gmail, but also Google chat (xmpp). Up until early Friday morning, this worked reliably in China.

    Happy Boxing Day to the sysadmins who have to support Google Apps.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    and bears crap in the woods???

    Gmail, and 99% of google api's havent worked for me since arriving in China nearly a month ago; I also find that various innocuous sites (such as a car forum), are heavily restricted and barely function most of the time.

    Porn access and torrents are fine though!!! (Well I CAN access them, but at speeds so slow as to make them pointless).

    On the other hand, the weather today has been a bright and sunny 20+C, so who needs porn??

  5. stringyfloppy

    "Imagine if Gmail users might not get through to Chinese clients. Many people outside China might be forced to switch away from Gmail."

    They should just turn away from China and do business elsewhere then.

    1. skeptical i

      re: do business elsewhere then

      This was my thought, if google-stuff won't work in China today, what will be against the (great?) wall tomorrow? Management of large companies will likely tell the IT department to "just make it work" because they want to keep the China supply lines open (the People of Wal-Mart want their cheap plastic crap and will not be denied!). But smaller companies might not find it worth the hassle to create a new communication stream to contract with one dealer overseas. Might create a small bump for domestic suppliers, though, so the news is not all bad.

  6. Robert Helpmann??

    Gained something in translation?

    "China has consistently had a welcoming and supportive attitude towards foreign investors doing legitimate business here," she said. "We will, as always, provide an open, transparent and good environment for foreign companies in China."

    I don't think this was intended to be funny, but it really was. Still, I wouldn't want to play Poker with someone that could come off with a line like this and keep a straight face.

  7. Wzrd1 Silver badge

    I need only consider this:

    "Imagine if Gmail users might not get through to Chinese clients. Many people outside China might be forced to switch away from Gmail."

    So, those seeking suppliers then go to Indonesia.

    Causing China to fsck itself economically.

    As for the rather amusing "Cuba, how did anyone miss..." bullshit, I'll remind my fellow citizen that *only* the US embargoes Cuba. The rest of the civilized world engages in commerce and/or tourism.

    Though, while working as an expat, I did try Cuban cigars. I far prefer Honduran.

  8. The Empress

    The EU sticks to fines and lawsuits

    It's so much more genteel and passive aggressive.

  9. Breen Whitman

    As the US gears up for war with China, they will try to setup internal disent. Social media, and Google will play a part.

    China is right to thwart this subterfuge.

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