Rather than the entire site being blocked however, search results for any search term simply won’t work. A sample screenshot can be seen below.
This is may be China’s response to Google officially made the move to redirect Chinese users to its uncensored site in Hong Kong last week.
Our local correspondent is unable to access any Google search results and a number of Twitter users are in the same position.
Our correspondent reports that Google.hk, Google News and Google Image search are not producing any search results. Gmail does work, as does Google Maps. Searches result in a “the page remains blank and I get a “Error 101 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_RESET): Unknown error” message.
Wang Lijian, spokesman for the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, one of China’s main Internet regulators, told the WSJ he was unaware of any disruption. Google’s China Service Availability page reports no issues with any of the above but it is unclear as to when it was last updated. A Google spokeswoman declined to immediately comment.
The company has however pointed out that the Chinese government could at any time opt to turn off Google’s services on mainland China by cutting links to the Hong Kong site. Until now, there has been no public indication that any of Google’s services have been disrupted there.
If this results in a complete and permanent blocking of Google’s search services, we’re likely to see backlash both from within and outside of China. It would raise fears that China is becoming more isolated with limited access to any news from outside of the country.
Of course, this like to come as more welcome news for Baidu who have have benefited enormously from the Google/China turmoil.
More to come