Google's Gmail staggers to feet in China as access partially restored

Webmail hit a wall, but not our Great Firewall, says PRC

Access to Gmail in China appears to have at least been partially restored, after Google's web addresses were blocked over the weekend.

The People's Republic has consistently denied having deliberately blocked Google's services as part of its "Great Firewall" effort.

According to the Google transparency report, which displays global traffic information, China's traffic is showing signs of increasing after remaining flat for four days.

One Twitter user said: "Gmail on my China Mobile 4G seems to have been restored. Maybe they caved under all the uproar, or maybe it was a glitch. Hope it lasts."

But Edward Wong, Beijing Bureau Chief for The New York Times, said Gmail is still unavailable on Apple iOS.

"Gmail still not downloading to email clients with China Unicom 3G or China Mobile's slow 3G equivalent. Also having VPN problems on Unicom," he tweeted.

The majority of Mountain View's services have been disrupted in China since June this year, the month marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising. Access to Gmail has been possible until recently via a loophole allowing access through third-party clients.

Another Twitter user claimed the blocking of Gmail could signal further crackdowns for internet freedoms. "2015 China Internet will face unprecedented grim situation," the user said according to Google Translate.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying denied any knowledge of the block on Saturday, reported news service Reuters. ®

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