If you live in China and wanted to check your Gmail or find a location on Google Maps, it's likely you are not able to do that today. There are reports that Google's online services are being blocked from residents living in that country, just as a major political event started.
Bloomberg reports that the blockage of Google's services came just as the Chinese government started their 18th Chinese Communist Party Congress event this week. Google has confirmed that there their servers are still up and running, saying, "We’ve checked and there’s nothing wrong on our end."
For their part, a spokeswoman for the Chinese consulate in New York stated she had no information on the alleged blocking of Google services. There has been no direct comment yet from Chinese government officials in Beijing.
In March 2010, Google got into a bit of a conflict with Chinese officials, as the company refused to bow down to the Internet censorship rules that the government tried to put in place. Google decided to pull out of the Chinese search business at that time, although Chinese residents could still access Google via a site based in Hong Kong.