Posted March. 24, 2010 08:21,
Google has effectively closed its Internet search service in China over a censorship dispute, splitting with the country with the worlds most Net users (384 million) after four years.
As the worlds largest Web search engine, Google sought freedom of speech online in China but Beijing insisted on its principle that foreign companies abide by Chinese law.
Google announced Monday in a blog post that it directed mainland Chinese users of its Chinese-language search engine to an uncensored site in Hong Kong. From Monday, users visiting google.cn in China were redirected to google.com.hk. The online map service is still available but the keyword search has been closed.
Google will retain part of its operations in China such as R&D, sales and advertising, but the prospects are unclear.
Shortly after Googles announcement, the State Council Information Office of China responded to the move on a message posted on its homepage early yesterday morning.
Google has violated a written promise it made when it entered the Chinese market, the Chinese government agency said. Googles argument that the Chinese government hired hackers to attack the e-mail of Chinese human rights activists is totally wrong.