China has decided to unblock the cloud storage service, Dropbox, almost four years after the service was banned in the country in 2010 that too without any warning when the Chinese authorities found politically sensitive content was being shared or stored via the US-based cloud storage site.
TechinAsia was the first to spot the unblocking of the cloud storage service in China last week. However, it is not yet clear what led to the sudden decision of unblocking the service and for how long the service will remain accessible.
Mere unblocking of the cloud storage service in China will not guarantee a success for Dropbox as the market has taken a 360 degree turn since the time the service was banned in 2010. Most of the domestic Chinese web firms now offer some kind of cloud-based file sharing services.
While Tencent’s Weiyun has rolled out a whopping 10TB of free storage, Baidu WangPan offers around 2TB free of charge storage for its users. Alibaba has also signaled its entry into the cloud storage space with its Kanbox acquisition last September.
It is definitely going to be a challenge for Dropbox to fight with other leading local players and survive in China’s cloud storage arena.
With the unblocking of Dropbox, Google Drive is the only foreign-owned cloud storage service still facing a ban in China since the day it was launched in the country in early 2012.