Access to Gmail in China was difficult, but not impossible. Workarounds included Outlook, Apple Mail, and third-party Gmail hosts.

Starting last Friday, the "Great Firewall" became nearly impenetrable as China's Censors Took Final Step in Blocking Gmail.

In the six months since Google's mail service Gmail was blocked in mainland China, users had been able to access it using third-party email applications such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail.

Beijing now appears to have closed the loophole, completely shutting down access to Gmail behind the so-called Great Firewall. Google data showed Gmail appeared to have been walled off starting Friday. Google spokesman Taj Meadows acknowledged the drop in traffic and said Monday that "there's nothing wrong on our end."

Google clashed with Beijing in 2010 after the company decided to stop censoring its Internet search results in China. Google shifted most of its Chinese operations to Hong Kong as a result, and it has been hard since then to access the company's services on the mainland.

As with Google search functions, Gmail users will now have to access the application through virtual private networks or other censorship circumvention channels, putting the email service on par with Facebook and Twitter in the eyes of Beijing censors.

Reserve Currency Silliness

China has no sizable bond market, no floating currency, few political freedoms, no freedom of speech, massive censorship, and questionable property rights, yet every week I see some article promoting the idea that the yuan will soon replace the dollar as world's reserve currency.

The idea is laughable. Lack of a bond market in sufficient size is enough to kill the notion.

Source

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