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Alphabet joins long list of China blocked sites

Alphabet, Google’s new holding company, has already been blocked in China a day after going live.

The domain “abc.xyz” has been “100% blocked” according to GreatFire.org, an non-profit organisation that monitors online censorship in China.

Google’s search product, along with side services such as Google+, Google Docs, Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Google Play and YouTube, has been blocked in the mainland via the country’s internet filtering system the Great Firewall for years.

In an interview with Forbes earlier this year, Google’s senior vice president of products Sundar Pichai said he believes there are “opportunities ahead” despite the boycott from China’s government.

Asked if he regards China as a black hole, he disagreed and said there’s “a lot of interest from Chinese developers on Google Play” that opens up big opportunities for Google, stressing that “it would be a privilege” to serve the China market.

The block of Alphabet comes as no surprise as China’s government continues to tighten internet censorship, targeting not only to global sites but also towards some of the biggest online companies in the country.

Last Tuesday, the country’s Ministry of Public Security issued a statement that the government is now sending online censor notes to some of the biggest online giants in China such as China Mobile, Alibaba, Tencent and Qihoo 360, aiming to build a “harmonious, well-ordered and clean online society”.

It’s unclear, however, if the new policy will apply on international companies in the future.

According to GreatFire.org, some 16970 Google Searches out of 17002 that the site monitors, and some 710 Google sites out of 796 are now blocked in China. Overall, a total of 62707 URLs out of 213720 under monitoring are blocked.

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