Google and Chinese authorities are once more at loggerheads after the search engine was largely unavailable in China yesterday.
After initially saying the outage was a result of an internal technical glitch, Google later pinned the blame on Chinese government filtering.
Mainland users said for much of Tuesday they could access the Google.com.hk English and Chinese web pages but could not complete any searches. By early Wednesday morning its service appeared to have been restored, the NY Times reported.
A Google spokeswoman earlier had said that a change in the string of text that accompanies search requests was causing the blockage.
But the company later changed its version of events, saying it had made that change a week ago, prompting speculation that the disruption was driven by Chinese censors.
It later said search traffic in China had returned to normal, “even though we have not made any changes at our end.”
On a tracking site that monitors the availability of its Google services the company has reported for the first time that its mobile search service has been partly blocked. Google sites such as YouTube and Blogger are permanently blocked in China.
The outage came on the same day a group of foreign journalists reported attacks on their Yahoo! e-mail accounts.
Local press reports state the account of one of three journalists was hacked, while a business analyst was locked out of his account for several days.