After a period of accessibility, Dropbox is blocked in China again, according to censorship watchdog GreatFire. The cloud storage service became available in February for the first time in China since 2010.
Dropbox appears to have become unavailable from IPs inside China sometime on Wednesday, as authorities applied their “strictest method of blocking,” according to The Next Web.
Blocking Dropbox may prevent Chinese netizens from accessing materials provided for them from outside of China which the government has attempted to keep out with the Great Firewall, but it could also cause a problem for international companies attempting to share files with Chinese employees and collaborators. Similar services from Chinese companies Tencent and Baidu could receive another look from those affected, as there is no way to know how long the restriction will last.
Kingsoft became another Chinese competitor in the market when it launched a suite of cloud services including storage and synching in April.
Most Google services were shut down in China ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. While the early June anniversary is an annual period of increased censorship in China, Google continues to be blocked weeks later, which is unusual.
While the Dropbox blockage is annoying and potentially costly to enterprises attempting to do business in China, companies in the cloud and hosting industry are finding ways into the Chinese market through partnerships.
If Dropbox intends to leverage moves like its acquisition last week of BYOD accommodating MobileSpan in the Chinese market, it may need a partner.