China just took one giant step closer toward its own Internet.
Beijing is pulling out all the stops in its quest to keep the 18th Party Congress “harmonious,” so that the country’s leaders can properly pursue the ongoing process of reform and opening up. So far this year, that has also meant blocking Bloomberg and the Times’ brand-new Chinese language site. And as of today, according to reports and tests from China, that also means blocking all Google.com sites. It may be temporary – the government has offered no statement, and it likely won’t – but it’s an unprecedented step in China’s ongoing quest to firm up that Great Firewall and keep its citizens inside Chinanet.