Official Chinese media advises users to accept Gmail blocking

Global Times, the outspoken government-backed newspaper, said in an editorial that internet users should accept the blocking of services in the country as there must be some new development or major concerns on safety issues.
Written by Cyrus Lee, Contributor

Complex reasons were attributable to the recent paralysis of Gmail services in China, and both China and Google could be blamed for the services disruption in the country since last Friday, Global Times said in an editorial piece published on Tuesday, which was widely reprinted by major websites within China on the same day.

The editorial said it is hasty of some Western media to attribute the blocking to the tightening control on the internet in the country, as it is Google who made the call to withdraw from the Chinese mainland years ago, and the crux of the matter is how to let Google abide to laws in China.

Since Dec 26, Chinese internet users found their Gmail services were completely inaccessible, even if making attempts through the third party platforms such as Apple iOS or Microsoft Outlook, which had previously continued to work after the seal off of web-based Gmail services since mid-2014. The only viable way for regular people to check Gmail accounts is through VPN services.

China needs strike a balance between the openness to the world and its national security. As both Google and the Chinese government failed to make clear on recent Gmail disruptions, and "Gmail is a technically complex messaging system", the real issues behind the decision remain unknown to the public, according to the editorial.

"If Gmail is indeed blocked by China, then there must be some new development or major concerns about safety issues ... If this is the case, Chinese users should accept the fact that Gmail service is suspended in China. However, we hope it is not the case," said the editorial.

"We only need remember that our country's internet policy is logical, which is stipulated and operating for the fundamental interests of the Chinese society," the editorial added.

Global Times is one of the largest circulated Chinese-language newspapers in China, under the government mouthpiece People's Daily.

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