Feeds

Android Marketplace blocked by Great Firewall of China

Dalai Lama ding-dong

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

China appears to have tightened up its Great Firewall, interfering with Google services in what appears to be a reprisal against the Chocolate Factory playing politics.

Access to the Android Marketplace has been blocked entirely from within China as The Next Web reports, but locals are also complaining that Android handsets are having a hard time getting onto the Gmail service. The Gmail block isn't being applied to IMAP connections, which means iPhones and similar are working well, lending weight to the idea that this is a political, rather than a security, issue.

The absolute block on android.com started over the weekend, just after Google announced it would be helping the Dalai Lama to (virtually) visit South Africa. That might be coincidence, but it's not the first time that China has been accused of using restrictions on internet access as a political tool.

Google doesn't have any servers in China, as the ad giant has refused to self-censor as required by Chinese law. Google's servers in the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong can be accessed from mainland China, but connections are often unreliable and slow, which pushes locals into the arms of rival services such as Baidu.

For mobile applications there are plenty of local application stores, not to mention rampant piracy. Companies such as HTC run Android stores within China, but avoid competing with Google elsewhere.

From within China it is far from obvious that Google is being blocked, rather it appears that the Chocolate Factory runs simply slow servers over unreliable connections.

So outright disconnections, such as those still affecting android.com, are rare. It could be a simple mistake, or perhaps there genuinely is a security issue being hosted on the service, but more likely it's intended to remind Google that if it ever wants access to the largest mobile phone market in the world, it is going to have to play by China's rules. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.