In order to help curb the possibility of rioting, the Chinese government has blocked all access to both YouTube and Google News to prevent the viewing of news reports and video footage documenting riots and protests in Tibet. Other web properties blocked include giants Yahoo, CNN, and the BBC.
Google has before been blocked by the Chinese government. Back in 2002 searches through the internet giant were blocked to the Chinese population leading into a Communist Party congress in November of that year.
In 2002 the Chinese government reported that an estimated 45.8 million Chinese were online. In July of 2007 this number had increased to approximately 137 million. Since then the total of those online has continued to skyrocket. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, and reported at the Register, the communist country, exceeded that of the US and reached an estimated 216 million online users by the end of 2007.