Google’s popular email service, Gmail, has finally been blocked in China. GreatFire.org says that China’s ‘Great Firewall’ had finally kept citizens from accessing the service altogether, after months of incomplete attempts at blocking it.
It’s said that the service was blocked on Friday, with users completely unable to get in. The news comes following evidence of intermittent blocking over the past number of months, but throughout users have been able to access their accounts in some form or another. Reuters says that many could still receive their mail “via protocols like IMAP, SMTP and POP3” using email clients on smartphones and PCs.
China’s ‘Great Firewall’ has been a great source of controversy in the country regarding freedom of speech. The ruling Communist Party has always utilised its web blocking power to prevent the spread of dissident messages in opposition of their rule. They’ve also sought to prevent the rise and dominance of Western companies like Google, in an effort to give Chinese equivalents, like Baidu and Alibaba, the edge.