Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Google has accused China of blocking their Gmail service in the country, the New York Times reports. The Chinese government hasn’t responded. What it looks like from China is that Gmail is failing.The chances that this is the Chinese government’s fault and not Google’s are roughly 100%.
What most people in the West don’t know about China’s infamous Great Firewall is that in most cases it doesn’t “block” offending websites outright. More often, it makes them so slow as to be practically unusable, so that average users will think it’s the site that’s not working and leave in frustration. And most of the time a site is actually blocked, the message will look like a server error instead of “THE COMMUNIST PARTY DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SEE THIS.”
Incidentally, this is a reason why Google has been failing in China. For some mysterious reason Google, which is the fastest website in the world from most countries, tends to be slower in China than Baidu. Of course the Chinese government would never, ever admit to giving Baidu a leg up.
And so Google’s dance in China goes on.