China's access to the Internet is known to be censored thanks to the state government's views on accessing Western media. However it is looking like those firewalls could be extending to downloading apps from the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Technically Windows Phone 7 based devices are not officially on sale in China so there's no local connection to the Marketplace. Before, people who happened to own such a phone could download and update apps by simply changing the phone's location settings to show the phone as operating in the US.
That trick, however, apparently no longer works. WPSauce.com reports that Windows Phone 7 users in China are having issues updating apps from the Marketplace for the past several days. The report blames the "Great Firewall" that China's government has set up. The firewall keeps its citizens from accessing a number of Western-based web sites and services including Facebook, YouTube and others. An update to the same story has the author suspecting Microsoft is to blame. The author claims that he can connect and purchase apps for the Marketplace but cannot actually download them.
If this blockage is from China's government the author suspects that this could be a temporary outage. Nokia has already announced support for releasing Windows Phone 7 based smartphones later this fall and because Nokia is huge in China it's possible that Windows Phone 7 will get its own local connection to the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace when the first Nokia WP7 devices are put on sale in that country.