Although Google’s Mainland China service availablility chart clearly says that Google is blocked in Mainland China – and at least one major news outlet has reported that Google is blocked in China – BUT at least two sources on Twitter (source one in Beijing and two in Shanghai) and on the ground in China say that they have full, normal access (for China at least) to Google through regular DSL connections (i.e. not through VPN or similar).
In fact, we are not hearing of any complaints from anyone on the ground so far. As a rule of thumb, unless multiple people in multiple cities on the ground in China report a service is blocked, and then others start verifying that, the service is available.
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One possibility is that there were a server crash/error somewhere and that the chart is reflecting that.
Anyone on the ground in China that reads this please let us know if you can access Google, thanks!
UPDATE: Google has confirmed to TechCrunch in an email that their services are not currently blocked in China:
Because of the way we measure accessibility in China, it’s possible that our machines could overestimate the level of blockage. That seems to be what happened last night when there was a relatively small blockage. It appears now that users in China are accessing our properties normally.
Please also note that the dashboard is not a real time tool.”
So there you have it, false alarm. As Google points out in the email – and as was known when the dashboard launched and as you can see below, this dashboard is not in real-time. Follow up post coming.