According to Google’s real-time Transparency Report Tool, Google’s email services, essentially Gmail, is fully blocked in China and Google traffic in the country dropped close to zero (picture shown above) starting on December 26.
Since June, Gmail’s website had been blocked in China along with every other Google services including search, images, translate, and more products like Google+, Gchat, and Drive. But, it had remained usable in third-party email apps such as Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook via IMAP/SMAP/POP servers. However, the latest crackdown shows that email services are fully inaccessible in the country and only way to access Gmail in China is with use of a VPN or proxy tool.
The latest move on Google services by Chinese Government was brought into light by Twitter posts by some users.
China blocks Imap 4 Gmail. Netizens report they can no longer get Gmail on Apple Mail (OSX) & Mail (iPhone) or domestic Internet providers.
— Yaxue Cao (@YaxueCao) December 28, 2014
Reports circulating that Gmail completely blocked in China, including IMAP/POP. VPN only option. https://t.co/DJwlbs9kfI
— Graham Webster (@gwbstr) December 28, 2014
These services were blocked in China under the country’s policy of Internet censorship to prevent the dissemination of information. Moving ahead in the race of social networks, LinkedIn had recently launched a localized version of itself in China and also added other local features, such as integrating Sina’s Weibo and Tencent’s WeChat. The country still has a ban on other western social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. In February this year, China removed restrictions from cloud storage service Dropbox.
Image Source: Google