Google Inc. stopped censoring the Internet for China by shifting its search engine off the mainland Monday but said it will maintain other operations in the country. The maneuver attempts to balance Google’s disdain for China’s Internet rules with the company’s desire to profit from an explosively growing market.
Google’s decision comes after an impasse pitting the world’s most powerful Internet company against the government of the world’s most populous country. It’s still not clear if Google’s solution will resolve a standoff that began Jan. 12. That’s when Google said it would no longer adhere to China’s requirement that it omit some Internet results.
Visitors to Google’s old service for China, Google.cn, are now being redirected to the Chinese-language service based in Hong Kong, where Google does not censor the search results. The Hong Kong page heralded the shift Monday with this announcement: “Welcome to Google Search in China’s new home.” The site also began displaying search results in the simplified Chinese characters that are used in mainland China.