China runs an extensive policy of website blocking based on the country’s eagerness to censor information. The most recent program that fell under the censorship is Google’s Gmail.
These latest actions could potentially backfire, as the Gmail service is one of the more popular in the nation. Disrupting this e-mail service could very well interrupt the usual communication streams that take place among the populace, or as businessperson Andrew Heiberger puts it, it could affect the ability of business transactions as well.
If you wrote to your Chinese friends for the new year and have not gotten a reply, the reason is actually that they most likely have never read your message. The disruptions have been observed a while before the final action, but Friday, December 26, was the decisive day for it.
Google’s market will thus suffer, and the action is classified by them as deliberate. In the USA, the authorities have expressed their worries regarding personal freedom. The Chinese should be free to choose which services they need. Instead, the government limits their access.
Popular platforms such as Google maps, Google docs, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo were blocked earlier at different dates and still remain inaccessible. The censorship system is known by the name of “The Great Firewall of China”.