Google Q&A page inaccessible in China

Access to a page hosted in Hong Kong is unreachable for at least some users in mainland China, Reuters reports.

A new Google Q&A page hosted in Hong Kong and directed toward China was reportedly inaccessible to Chinese users on Tuesday.

Many users in mainland China reported receiving error messages when trying to view the page, according to Reuters. A Google representative told Reuters that there were no technical problems with the page and suggested contacting the Chinese government.

Launched in late July, the beta of the new Q&A page invites Chinese users to ask questions and receive links to Web pages with possible answers. But apparently some of the questions may have triggered concerns within the Chinese government.

Recent questions focused on the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising, according to Reuters, while others discussed the recent protest in the city of Guangzhou to protect the Cantonese dialect. Some questions even offered up a few profanities about former Chinese ruler Mao Zedong.

Although China renewed Google's license to operate there last month, the two parties continue to wrangle over the accessibility and filtering of certain services. On Thursday, several Google services reportedly were inaccessible to users in mainland China, although questions remain as to whether the problem was due to a technical issue or government intervention.

Beyond China, Google is also facing a problem in Russia. The company is squaring off with Russian authorities who recently ordered Internet provider Rosnet to block all access to YouTube because of a politically sensitive video.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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