Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL) continues its retreat from China. On Monday, the company pulled its Google Translate services in mainland China, which was one of its last few remaining services available in the country known for its sweeping censorship rules.
When trying to access the Google Translate app and website, people in mainland China will be greeted by a static image of the Google search bar with a link to its page in Hong Kong, except it’s not accessible from the mainland.
In 2010, Google discontinued its search engine in the Chinese market, unwilling to yield to the government’s censorship of internet content. China then blocked other Google services such as Gmail and Google Maps.
Google made its translation service available in China in 2017, through a dedicated website and app. And then in 2019, the company explored the idea of creating a separate search engine that complied with the country’s censorship policies, but decided to terminate the project.
According to a Google representative in a statement, the service was discontinued in China because of “low usage.” But the pullout comes at an interesting time. Tensions between the United States and China are not so slowly hitting a crescendo, with both sides moving to protect sensitive tech and intellectual property.
Information for this briefing was found via Twitter, Bloomberg, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.