The Chinese government looks to have ended its ban on the Google search engine. Internet users in Shanghai and Beijing have reportedly been able to access the service for the first time since the block was imposed at the beginning of the month. Google’s rival AltaVista still appears to be blocked.
China often increases censorship in the run up to political events like the upcoming Communist party conference in November.
It is thought the government targeted Google and AltaVista in particular because they contain features, which allow users to view the content of sites deemed subversive by the Chinese government, without actually visiting the site.
The ban on Google may have been listed following pressure from both the company, and Chinese businesses that rely on search engines.
AltaVista has been encouraging Chinese users to get round the ban by using additional URLs not in the AltaVista.com domain, including http://www.raging.com/.