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/ Source: Reuters

Chinese access to Google's email service has been blocked amid government efforts to limit or possibly ban access to the company's services, which are popular among Chinese who seek to avoid government monitoring.

Data from Google's Transparency Report show online traffic from China to Gmail fell precipitously on Friday and dropped to nearly zero on Saturday, although there was a tiny pickup on Monday. Taj Meadows, a spokesman for Google Asia Pacific, said Google has checked its email service and "there's nothing technically wrong on our end."

Earl Zmijewski, vice president of data analytics at analysis firm Dyn Research, said his tests showed China's government had blocked Google IP addresses in Hong Kong used by people on the mainland to access Gmail services. Calls to the government regulator, the China Internet Information Office, were unanswered Monday. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she did not know about any block but that China welcomes foreign investors who conduct business legally in the country.

IN-DEPTH

-- Reuters