China & Google Play Down Blockage Issues
Reports spread that the Chinese government could have blocked Google's service in China, after the company's dedicated mainland China service availability page showed that its search service was fully blocked, and its images and news services were only partially accessible in the country.
Two hours later, however, Google released a statement denying this. It said: "Because of the way we measure accessibility in China, it's possible that our machines can overestimate the level of blockage.
"That appears to be what happened last night, when there was a relatively small blockage. It appears that users in China are now accessing our properties normally."
Relations between Google and the Chinese government have been through a fractious period recently.
In January, Google reacted to attacks from hackers originating from within China by pledging to stop self-censoring its Google.cn search results to restrict searches for topics objected to by the host government, thereby risking losing its licence to operate in the country.
It then automatically redirected visitors to Google.cn to its uncensored Hong Kong website, Google.hk.
However, earlier this month, the Chinese authorities renewed Google's licence to operate in the country for another year, after Google put a landing page on Google.cn, which meant users had to click a link to get to its Google.hk page.
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