photo © 2010 Cory M. Grenier | more info (via: Wylio)After weeks of Gmail issues in China, Google has confirmed today that the problems stem from Chinese government’s interference. The search engine gave this statement to us and other media outlets, “There is no technical issue on our side; we have checked extensively. This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail.”
Gmail users in China are reporting having no trouble logging into the service, but are experiencing issues sending and receiving messages as well as performing routine actions. The problems are also erratically distributed amongst users, so one user sitting in a cafe could be having issues with the Gmail while a user next to him could be just fine.
Google recently blogged about “politically motivated” attacks against users, but made no mention as to who the target was or where the attacks were coming from.
“We’ve noticed some highly targeted and apparently politically motivated attacks against our users. We believe activists may have been a specific target. We’ve also seen attacks against users of another popular social site.”
Today’s confirmation is not the first time Google and the Chinese government have butted heads over Gmail: the two have had a much storied history, as Google.cn used to provide censored results per Beijing’s request. Google.cn was then redirected to the non-censored Google.com.hk last March, after Google discovered that attacks on human rights activists’ Gmail accounts had originated in China.