Google Outage Shows Business Risks in China

Disruptions to Google Inc.’s search and email services in China over the weekend underscore the uncertainty surrounding Beijing’s effort to control the flow of information into the country, as well as the risks that effort poses to the government’s efforts to draw global businesses.

Chinese users of many of Google’s services reported a lack of access late Friday, halting use of everything from Google’s search engine to its Gmail email service to its Google Play mobile-applications store. The Mountain View, Calif., company said that its own statistics showed a sharp decline in traffic from China, and it said that the problem didn’t appear to be within its equipment.

Services returned on Saturday, though users in some parts of the country said use was unpredictable and unreliable over the weekend.

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