Google, Inc. has acknowledged the Chinese Government has halted access to its realm of services and applications. A Google spokesperson confirmed that limitations were placed by the Chinese government, stating publicly, “We’ve checked, and there’s nothing wrong on our end.” More services than just Google Maps and Google Analytics have been reported to have been affected.
Media has reported that the blocks were included by the Chinese Government when it began its 18th Party Congress, November 8th, 2012. Google’s services, applications and wares were prevented to source to China, as well as a block to Google’s Web destination, Google.com, and more.
The blocks that the Chinese Government instilled affect more than Google, Inc. Denizens of China have reportedly remained unable to access Google.com or Google Inc.’s services. The effects experienced by Google from the halt of Chinese access to its platform have included failed sourcing by Google to tally the number of visits from Chinese end users. Google is apparently unable to track visitor queues and any websites that may use Google Analytics from Chinese locales. Data tracking any visitor counts from outside of China have been reported as zero.
Baidu is ranked as the most popular search engine with Chinese Internet users, reportedly, with Google.com following as the runner-up. Alexa has queued Google.com in its Top 5 most-accessed Web destinations from Chinese locations; but, still people have not be able to search, browse or visit from the Web, due to the Chinese Government action. Public sentiment has led end users to Freeweibo.com, a destination that provides solutions for persons experiencing restrictions of Internet service.
Who’s on first:
The website Greatfire has been credited as the whistleblower about the Chinese Government’s influence. The Chinese monitoring service observes online destinations, and has endeavored to inform persons about the decisions of governmental change and censorship. November 9, 2012, Greatfire.org reported from its blog that it has continued to track censorship at online locations in China since February 2011.
To date, Greatfire.org has observed:
- The subdomains http://www.google.com, http://mail.google.com, http://google-analytics.com, http://docs.google.com, http://drive.google.com,http://maps.google.com, http://play.google.com and perhaps many more are all currently DNS poisoned in China. Instead of the real IP addresses, any lookups from China to any of these domains result in the following IP: 220.127.116.11. That IP address is located in Korea and doesn’t serve any website at all;
- This means that none of these websites, including Google Search, currently work in China, unless you have a VPN or other circumvention tool;
- Using a DNS server outside of China doesn’t help. A lookup of www.google.com to 18.104.22.168 is also distorted, by the Great FireWall; and
- So far, you can still access other country versions of Google, such as www.google.co.uk.
Greatfire suggests visitors may review a queue of various Google sites at https://en.greatfire.org/search/google-sites. Web visitors are expected to be able to sort through the online locales that are provided to select and test for current and concurrent updates. Greatfire.org noted additionally that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube “were all blocked before they attracted more than a small number of users in China.”
As of November 9, 2012, Greatfire had reported that 40% of its platform and services had been restricted from Chinese access.