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China Cuts Access to Google’s Porn Gateway

It appears that Google and China are playing a game of brinkmanship–and Google’s losing.

After continued threats from China, Google apparent still hasn’t done enough to prevent porn from being easily found at Google.com. In response, China pulled the plug on access to the search engine.

Attempts to access Google.com and Gmail from different computers in Beijing started failing after 9pm local time, but the websites could be accessed through proxy servers – normally a sign that a website is being blocked by internet censors.

Whether the "outage" was a warning shot across Google’s bow or not, we don’t really know.

Cui Jin, spokeswoman for Google China, confirmed that access was cut but would not speculate if it was linked to the government order on cleaning up its act.

What we do know is that the outage only affected Google.com, not Google.cn. While Google.com only represents about 5% of all searches in China, it’s an important gateway for businesses targeting Chinese users and also hosts Gmail for Chinese users.