The Chinese government has blocked Google+ and other Google products while the Communist Party holds its 18th Party Congress in Beijing. In addition to users in China receiving an error message when they attempt to access Google-owned sites, foreign website owners will not be able to track Chinese visitors through Google Analytics.
GreatFire, a website that tracks web censorship in China, first discovered that Google.com and other subdomains had been blocked. The Next Web was able to confirm the block with Google and a representative added, “We’ve checked and there’s nothing wrong on our end.” The blocked domains are listed on greatfirewallofchina.org, a site for testing in real-time which domains are blocked in China.
Our Google+ analytics tool, GPlusData, showed a drop-off in the number of posts on the social network beginning on November 8, when the congress began. Our analysts ran the numbers on “people we’ve known to speak Chinese” to get the results, meaning that the user was not necessarily working from a computer in China.
The number of posts are in the left column; the dates are in the right.
We also saw a drop in usage among people who reported that they are living in China on their profiles.
Other Google services affected by the firewall include Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, Google Analytics, and Google Drive.
Previously, the Chinese government had blocked Facebook, Twitter, and Google’s video-sharing site, YouTube. According to GreatFire, this is the Chinese government’s first attempt to fully block Google.
Image by Complot via Shutterstock.
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