China has responded to claims by Google that the country is intentionally interfering with the functionality of Gmail accounts.
"This is an unacceptable accusation," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a news conference, according to a Reuters report on Tuesday.
Some users of the email service had complained they had been finding it difficult to send an email or mark messages as 'unread' since the beginning of March.
"There is no issue on our side; we have checked extensively," a Google spokesperson said on Monday. "This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail."
Since 2006, Google had been allowed to operate its search business in China by agreeing to filter certain search terms that appeared on Google.cn.
In January 2010, Google stopped censoring its search results — by redirecting visitors to Google.com.hk — and threatened to fully remove its service from the country after it detected "a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China", the company said at the time.
In November, The New York Times reported on US Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) cables — via Wikileaks — that showed the Politburo, the governing body of the Communist Party of China, had orchestrated attacks against Google, the US government and other western businesses.
Get the latest technology news and analysis, blogs and reviews delivered directly to your inbox with ZDNet UK's newsletters.