China has reportedly stepped up efforts to block virtual private network (VPN) services, with Gmail users in the country said to be experiencing slow and limited access.
According to technology blog engadget.com, the Chinese government is exercising its wield on these services to prevent pro-democracy protests from gaining strength.
It reported that some VPN services providers "observed" the local government joined their paid services to enter their networks in a bid to extract details which were used to block Web users in the country from accessing the Web. Corporations in China typically subscribe to VPN services to enhance network security.
PC World earlier this week also reported that Gmail users in the country had experienced "difficulty" in accessing the e-mail service since late February.
Google clarified there were no technical difficulties on its end, according to a company spokesperson. The Internet giant had several run-ins with Chinese authorities last year over China's attempts to censor its search engine and alleged role in launching cyberattacks against Google.