Google accuses Chinese govt of blocking Gmail
Users are finding it difficult to access site, send emails, access messaging
Google has accused the Chinese government of blocking its email services in the country, making it difficult for Gmail users to access their email, according to the Press Association.
Google has said that its technical staff has found no problems with the email service or Google's main website.
"There is no technical issue on our side; we have checked extensively. This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail," the company said in a statement.
Google says that Gmail users have been experiencing intermittent problems, such as being unable to access the Gmail homepage, since the end of January.
Users have also reported difficulties in sending emails and the Google messaging service not working.
Google says the block is sophisticated as it is not a complete ban on the site.
China has extremely tough internet laws and blocks several popular social media sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and the laws have got tougher since pro-democracy protests in January.
Google has had several run-ins with the Chinese government previously, most recently in January 2010, when it said it would no longer comply with the government's stringent censorship regulations.