China, which is no stranger to Internet censorship, is now blocking access to Gmail on an IP level for many of its 1.3 billion citizens.
Many of Google's services, including Gmail, have previously been blocked on a nationwide level in mainland China. In the past, censorship was mostly relegated to YouTube and Google's search engine, especially during periods leading up to the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4th, 1989 - but this is the first time Google's email service has been blocked in China entirely.
The block has been confirmed by several sources, including many Chinese citizens on social media, and Internet analysis firm Dyn Research - who said in a statement to Mashable that many of the IP addresses used for routing Gmail services were indeed being blocked. Google's interactive disruption map also notes several disruptions across mainland China.
Earlier this year, China also blocked access to Instagram in an attempt to stop the spread of pro-democracy protest images. And as to not play favorites, the nation has also raided Microsoft's officesmultiple times over the past year, citing an ongoing "antitrust investigation."
At the time of writing, access to Gmail remains unavailable across the country - but since the service is blocked on an IP level, Chinese citizens afraid of missing any important emails can still access Gmail through a proxy or VPN.