All Google services, including its search engine, Gmail and Maps, were inaccessible in China on Friday night and into today, the company confirmed. The block comes as the 18th Communist Party Congress, the once-in-a-decade meeting to appoint new government leadership, begins.
Traffic to Google sites fell off Friday evening in China, according to Google’s Transparency Report, which provides information about traffic worldwide. The company said it was not having any technical problems but did not say whether it believed its sites had been blocked by the government or were the victims of hacking. Internet speeds have also slowed, while Chinese citizens have been satirizing the meeting online.