Gmail Access Slowly Returning in China

Access to Gmail in China is returning after a four-day outage.

The Financial Times on Tuesday reported that Gmail users in China are re-gaining access to their inboxes, though some are still experiencing delays in receiving emails. Others said the service had not returned for them at all.

“Hurrah, Gmail is back, just in the nick of time!” one user wrote on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service, according to the report.

Indeed, Google’s Transparency Report, which lets users see whether the company’s services are blocked in particular regions, shows a small uptick in Gmail traffic in China today, though traffic is not back up to levels seen before the dropoff, which began mid-day on Dec. 26.

In a statement, Google reiterated what it said yesterday: “We’ve checked and there’s nothing technically wrong on our end.”

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying, was quoted by the state-run People’s Daily as saying that he was unaware of any cut-off in service, and that China “will continue to provide an open, transparent and fair environment for foreign enterprises.” The shutdown was first reported by, an organization that monitors online censorship in China. The site on Monday re-tweeted a message from a Beijing-based writer who said in a translated message that Gmail was “fully blocked.” In another tweet, the writer — who goes by the name Fang — said that Gmail traffic from China had “dropped close to zero” since Dec. 27.

Service cut-offs in China, of course, are nothing new. In June, Google services were blocked before the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, Bloomberg reported. But Google products, like Gmail, have faced various blockades over the years, while search results are often censored. For more, check out our roundup of Gmail tips in the slideshow above.

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