Google says: Gmail and Android Market Outage is Our Bad, Not a China Block
Google has finally spoken out on the four-day long inaccessibility of Android’s Market and Gmail apps in China by saying that it was Google’s outage, not a Great Firewall block.
On Monday, I speculated that authorities in China were doing this, in a new chapter in the ongoing Google-China controversy – but now we know that’s not the case. Both the Android Market and the Gmail for Android apps returned to normal service last night for most people, and then early this morning a Google spokesperson in Asia told PO Tech Asia:
We identified a technical issue during a software update, and have now fixed it.
It seems the “software update” on Google’s end messed up the two services for many Android users in China. But, since many Chinese use neither Gmail nor the official Market – there’s a whole ecosystem of alternative app stores here – this certainly didn’t affect all of the tens of millions of people in the country on Android. At the time, conventional IMAP connections, such as those used on iPhones, were unaffected.
So we can thankfully cross two names off of the ever-expanding GFW list. But the issue remains of the Gmail web app – and Google search as a whole – being very patchy across China. And that’s certainly Net Nanny’s doing.
A hat-tip to this CNET post we read last night, which later got updated with the same Google response, though from a different spokesperson.
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