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As tension heats up in Beijing, China, where pro-democracy demonstrators prepare for Tiananmen Square’s 25th anniversary strike, China has decided to block Google in an attempt to stop their movement.
The block, which has lasted more than four days now, has many wondering if it will be a permanent measure. A Google transparency report demonstrated that Google user activity in China has decreased dramatically since last Friday.
According to USA Today, GreatFire.org monitors website blocking in China and recently stated the extent of the block.
“All Google services in all countries, encrypted or not, are now blocked in China. This blockage includes Google search, images, translate, Gmail and almost all other products. In addition, the block covers Google Hong Kong (China's version of Google), Google.com and all other country specific versions, e.g. Google France)”, the company stated.
This isn’t the first time Google has had problems with its services in China. In 2010 due to China’s internet censorship tendencies, Google removed its Chinese search engine service in 2010 and relocated it to Hong Kong, Japan, Reuters noted. In 2012 there was a similar 12-hour block.
The Chinese government currently blocks over 71 websites. Among them are Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. There is nothing the companies can do because they are forced to obey the government’s orders. In China, no one is allowed to discuss democracy, which has led to over 2,000 deaths over the years.
The 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square is Wednesday. So far numerous protestors have been taken captive and won’t be released for another week.