A Google search feature was blocked in China on Thursday, the company said as it awaited Beijing’s decision on whether to renew its operating license amid tensions over censorship.
Mainland users were unable to use the search giant’s “suggest” feature, which offers possible results as they start to type a query, the company said.
“It appears that search queries produced by Google Suggest are being blocked for mainland users in China,” said Google spokeswoman Jessica Powell in an e-mail. “Normal searches that do not use query suggestions are unaffected.”
Google’s relations with Beijing have been tense since the U.S.-based search giant said in January it no longer wanted to cooperate with Chinese Web filtering following hacking attacks traced to China.