We all know the story. China and Google don’t get along. The world’s most populous nation and the internet’s largest entity don’t see eye to eye on fundamental issues such as access to information and freedom of expression. The tenuous relationship has led to the ban of a number of Google products in China over the years, and the Android Market is only the latest to see a country-wide ban. Access to market.android.com from within China is denied across five major provinces, blocking smartphone users from accessing and downloading applications from the portal.
There may not be much of a loss, as many smartphones throughout China never had access to the Android Market to begin with (manufacturers did not seek out official Google support for their devices), particularly phones priced at a level more accessible to the general population. Instead, users rely on local app stores established by service providers and manufacturers.
This is not the first report of China blocking Android Market access, and it likely won’t be the last. The service can be added to a list that includes Gmail, Google Talk, and Google+.