China is already trying to block Google+
Google+ has only been available for about a day, and the user-base is so small that most people using the service probably already know one another. That hasnâ€™t stopped the Chinese Government from blocking what they perceive to be another threat to state-managed media. The government has already squashed access to Google+, even though itâ€™s invitation-only and thereâ€™s no indication any of their citizens were even using it.
China already blocks most outside social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and FourSquare. Still, the move comes quickly, even for the Chinese government, which is known to not waste time when it comes to blocking media that it canâ€™t control.
All of this takes place at a time where the Chinese government is very sensitive to Google and its market maneuvers, and Google has been tiptoeing around the Chinese government while trying to do business in the country.
Google recently applied for a mapping and surveying license in order to expand Google Maps in China. The license is normally a routine matter, but it raised eyebrows internationally because the Chinese government could use the opportunity to punish Google for calling China out publicly over a recent string of Gmail hacks.
Google announced that its security audits had determined that the culprits behind a series of Gmail attacks and breaches of accounts belonging to pro-democracy activists, US politicians and officials, and other users had originated from China. China responded by denying the claims, saying that Google was being used as a â€œpolitical toolâ€ to support the interests of the west.
In front of this tenuous backdrop, Google is moving forward and launching new services. Google+ will likely not be available in China anytime soon, but it may eventually be a moot point: a Chinese firm will reproduce the service for a Chinese audience eventually anyway.