China Google censorship
Google reported that traffic to Gmail from the Chinese mainland dropped to zero Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. Reuters/Stringer

A Communist Party news outlet blamed Google for the Chinese blockade on Gmail, saying in an editorial that users who have grown accustomed to the hugely popular email service should prepare for life without it. The editorial, published Monday in the newspaper Global Times, comes after months of intermittent disruptions for Google that began on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests in June.

Cybersecurity experts have blamed China’s Great Firewall for making Gmail largely inaccessible over the past seven months. Yet the email service has remained popular among users able to use third-party services to access it, a method that has failed in recent days without explanation. The situation became clearer Monday, when the government-funded Global Times published an editorial asserting that Gmail users should “accept the reality” that the site is gone.

“China welcomes the company to do business on the prerequisite that it obeys Chinese law; however Google values more its reluctance to be restricted by Chinese law, resulting in conflict,” the editorial said.

Google’s main search engine left mainland China for Hong Kong in 2010 over censorship concerns. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other western social media sites are blocked in China, but widely accessed with third-party software that makes computers appear to be located offshore. The Global Times editorial criticized “hasty and simplistic” explanations that the Communist Party is behind the site being pulled, instead saying that Google might somehow be involved in the issue.

“We only need to have faith that China has its own logic in terms of Internet policy and it is made and runs in accordance with the country’s fundamental interests,” it went on.

A Google representative told the Guardian company technicians found “nothing wrong on our end.”