It also not the first time Google has tangled with the world's most populated country.
The company began offering search services in China under the Google.cn domain in 2006. From the start, Google censored its search results there based on a mandate by the Chinese government. People within China's borders could try to do searches on the company's Google.com site but were sometimes blocked.
In 2009, China began blocking Google's popular YouTube site. It has been blocked ever since.
Then bigger trouble began between the Chinese government and Google in 2010, when the company claimed a cyberattack on its Gmail service came from within China and was aimed at obtaining information on Chinese human rights activists.
At that point, Google said it would no longer abide by China's mandate and stopped censoring search results for its Google.cn sites, including Google Search, Google News and Google Images.
Soon after that, Google moved the bulk of its Chinese services to a domain in Hong Kong.
Over the past few years, there have been sporadic reports that China's government has intermittently blocked its citizens from accessing Google services, including search and Gmail, under the Hong Kong domain.
However, there had never been an overwhelming blackout of services, and any blockages were not sustained.
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