Internet giant Google has accused the Chinese government of interesting with the firm's Gmail web email system as authorities crack down on online dissidents.
Google earlier announced that the firm's users and advertisers had been complaining about intermittant down time of Google services. Rather than a block by the so-called 'great firewall of China', problems are sporadic and have even effected the firm's disaster web pages relating to the Japanese earthquake.
"Relating to Google there is no issue on our side. We have checked extensively," a Google spokesman said according to a Guardian report.
"This is a government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail," they added.
Google previously bumped heads with with the Chinese government, claiming that systematic state-sponsored hacking had been targetting Google accounts of political activists.
In retaliation the firm said it was no longer willing to filter local Google search results which ultimately resulted in Google effectively exiting the Chinese search market.
Google's strong accusation, if true, shows that Beijing is reluctant confront the backlash of banning Google services outright in China.
However the regime is apparently not above interfering with Google's foreign-hosted services, presumably in order to entice users to use local services which are compelled to provide the authoritarian regime with the ability to snoop on the activities of Chinese internet users.