Gmail Access Slowly Returns in China

PHOTO: A pedestrian walks past Google Inc.s China headquarters in Beijing, China in this June 29, 2010 file photo.Nelson Ching/Bloomberg/Getty Images
A pedestrian walks past Google Inc.'s China headquarters in Beijing, China in this June 29, 2010 file photo.

Access to Google's Gmail is slowly being restored in China after it mysteriously dropped to a near-zero level last weekend.

Google told ABC News that the company has "checked and there's nothing technically wrong on our end." The precipitous drop in usage left many to wonder if it was the latest move by regulators to counter the search giant's presence in the country.

Data from Google's Transparency Report shows Gmail traffic is slowly resuming, however its nowhere near previous use levels.

An editorial released by China's Global Times, which is published by the state-run People's Daily, said the glitch had fueled "unnecessary speculation."

"China welcomes the company to do business on the prerequisite that it obeys Chinese law; however, Google values more its reluctance to be restricted by Chinese law, resulting in conflict," the editorial added.

Earlier this week, the country's foreign minister said she was not aware of a block, according to the Associated Press.

Gmail has been blocked in China for a while, however users had been able to circumvent it by accessing the service through tablets, smartphones and third-party applications such as Microsoft Outlook.

Google shut down its search engine in mainland China in 2009 in protest of the country's online censorship. Since then, access to Google's suite of products has been severely limited and blocked in China.

Gmail is hardly alone. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and other popular foreign web sites that carry user-generated content are also blocked in China.

ABC News' Kaijing Xiao contributed to this report.