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internet in china
proactive measure
chinese citizens
chinese companies
similar services
social bookmarking
personal opinion
China Prevents People From Accessing Gmail
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China has begun to prevent people from accessing their Gmail accounts. The reason for this decision is a product of much speculation and personal opinion. The block is also infrequent and temporary for the time being, but it seems to be a foreboding sign for what's to become of the internet in China.

At the time of writing this article Gmail is still accessible, but I've got to use the basic HTML mode to access it. This is the case with many people who use Gmail in China, and we often have to ask ourselves, "Is this my computers fault or is this the Great Firewall at work." The reason's for China to prevent people from accessing Gmail are far from few.

With recent political change in Egypt and the role the internet and especially modern communication systems like social bookmarking, VoIP systems, micro blogging, and video blogging have played in it has put China into lock down. Rumours of the "Jasmine Revolution" emulating the "Twitter Revolution" in Egypt have begun to circulate and China's officials have started blocking access to vpn protocols (firewall tunnelling software), and other popular communications sites like Skype and Gmail.

While the number of Chinese citizens who use Google are few, and the number of those who use Gmail are still fewer, this number grows every year. Google has money, experience, and freedom that Chinese companies which provide similar services don't have, and their products and services are therefore much superior. While the average Chinese person doesn't know this now, the more educated and culturally savvy Chinese elite are growing to realize this and exclusively use western services. As the number of rich and worldly Chinese grows, so does the number of people who want to emulate them.

In some ways, China preventing people from accessing Gmail is not only a reactive measure to what's happened in Egypt, but also a proactive measure to prevent potential users from switching.

Will China prevent people from accessing Gmail in the future? I think the only logical answer is yes, because Google seems unwilling to move on it's stance to not only protect freedom of speech on the internet, but also to actively promote it in places where it's not kosher. China is equally unwavering in it's position to censor the internet.

Gmail users are in striking increasing numbers choosing to use a vpn in China which allows them to tunnel The Great Firewall and access sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail without hindrance. Continue reading about why you need a vpn in China.

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