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5 Oct 2022
Google Is Shutting Down Its Translate Service in China
On Monday, Google said it would shut down the Google Translate service in mainland China because of low usage.
The closure of this product signals the end of one of the company's last surviving businesses in the largest economic region.
The China-only website for Google Translate now redirects visitors to the Hong Kong edition. However, this isn't accessible to users in China.
According to a recent statement by Google, "We are discontinuing Google Translate in mainland China due to low usage,"
Google has always been torn about operating in the Chinese market. This may have led to the withdrawal of their search engine in 2010 China, due to the steep censorship measures implemented by the Chinese government.
After Google pulled its search engine in 2010 because of China's strict government censorship on the internet.
The Chinese government also blocked the other services offered by the tech giant – including Google Maps and Gmail.
In light of this, social media, gaming giant Tencent, and search engine Baidu have come to dominate the Chinese internet landscape in search and translation.
Google has a limited presence in the territories of China today, except for some of its hardware, such as smartphones. Based on a New York Times report, Google moved some Pixel smartphone production to Vietnam last month.
It's also looking to get Chinese developers to create apps for its Android operating system that will then be available through the Google Play Store, even though that's blocked in China.
After backlash from employees and politicians, Google scrapped its plans to reenter China with its search engine in 2018.
Today, businesses in the United States are stuck in the middle of continuing tensions between the United States and China regarding technology. However, Washington continues to be anxious about China's access to sensitive technologies, specifically AI and semiconductors.
Recently, United States chip manufacturer Nvidia disclosed that Washington would be placing restrictions on the company's sale of specific components to China.
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