Access to Google Inc’s Gmail was blocked in China on 26 December 2014 after months of disruptions. The access to the Gmail was supposedly blocked by Great Firewall of China which is the world's most sophisticated internet censorship mechanism.
As part of it, large numbers of Gmail Web addresses were cut off in China from 26 December 2014 and the service was still down on 29 December 2014.
The update was confirmed by GreatFire.org, a China-based freedom of speech advocacy group. Also, Google's own real-time traffic to Google services displayed a sharp drop-off in traffic to Gmail from China.
The U.S. State Department expressed concern over China's actions which could make email communication difficult for companies operating in China.
However, Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed that it is unaware of the development and it is committed to providing a good business environment for foreign investors.
The disruptions of almost all of Google's services in China began since June 2014, that is, since the run-up to the 25th anniversary of the government's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators around Beijing's Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989.
Yet the Gmail users could still access emails downloaded via protocols like IMAP, SMTP and POP3. These had let people communicate using Gmail on apps like the Apple iPhone's Mail and Microsoft Outlook.
Also, people can get around China's internet censorship by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) which allows unhindered access to blocked sites and services.