Following a four-day outage, Gmail is back up and running in China -- for now.
Gmail inboxes -- accessed via POP and IMAP servers -- began refilling today, reports the Financial Times, though many users were still receiving messages in delay.
If the decision to block Gmail came from the upper echelons of the Chinese government, experts told the Times that comparable outages would likely continue in the future. Yesterday, however, a government spokesperson denied any involvement.
The episode has shed new light on China’s Great Firewall, an uber-sophisticated censorship mechanism that blocks foreign platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google’s search function throughout the Communist nation.
It has also posed new obstacles for businesses operating in China. Citizens on the upper end of the socioeconomic spectrum were most up in arms over the blockage, according to the Times, as Gmail is regularly used by those who travel abroad for work, or who work for international companies.
One user on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, even complained that he had missed the deadline to apply to The Wharton School because the correspondence had taken place via his inaccessible Gmail account.