After about four days of being cut off from their Gmail, Chinese users are slowly getting back access to it. Gmail traffic in China is slowly picking up and is on the way to pre-outage status. The outage began right after Christmas when Gmail users in China found themselves blocked from using the services.
Google’s Transparency Report indicated that Gmail traffic into China showed a slight rise since yesterday morning. Many users reported restoration of the Gmail services, some still experienced problems.
The Financial Times has reported:
“The episode ended as mysteriously as it began — users of Gmail via POP and Imap servers, who had been frustrated for days trying to send and receive email, suddenly saw their inboxes full again, though some were still reporting delays in receiving emails and others said that their service had not returned.”
Gmail services in China seem to be slowly returning to the earlier status. Gmail’s website has been blocked since long by the “Great Firewall of China” that has barred Chinese users from accessing Gmail and other Google web services like Search and Drive through their browsers. People in China had access to it through third party apps such as Microsoft outlook and Apple Mail using POP, IMAP and SMAP but the Chinese government had blocked this loophole last week.
As for the reason for outage, Google says there is nothing technically wrong at their end. The state-run Global Times says it may be “caused by the China side, by Google itself or a combination of the two.” Further adding that, “If the China side indeed blocked Gmail, the decision must have been prompted by newly emerged security reasons. If that is the case, Gmail users need to accept the reality of Gmail being suspended in China.”