After about a month of being totally blocked in China, Google is back up and operational. In the time leading up to the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protest, and the massacre that took place there, Google and a number of other web services have been completely shut down.
According to the Chinese government, they had nothing to do with these sites being blocked, and that it was actually an issue on Google’s side. Of course, that seems exceedingly unlikely, especially given the timing. Google had confirmed that there were no issues on their side, and that their sites were being blocked by the communist government.
In addition to Google’s search functions; those in China were unable to access Google Maps, Flicker and the South Korean based services Line and Kakao Talk. These services too have been restored.
For marketers who promote products in China, this will undoubtedly be a huge relief. Despite the political problems in China, there are hundreds of millions of potential customers who are able to make purchases of many types of products, especially informational products which are popular with many online marketers.
Of course, there is no way to know when or why China will choose to block these services again, which is one of the major risks of marketing to customers in countries with overly restrictive governments.