Internet search engine giant Google has shut down its China-based search site. Mounting tensions have been building between Google and the Chinese regime over Internet censorship.
Mainland Internet users can now access Google's Hong Kong site at google dot com dot h-k… a search engine that provides uncensored web searches.
The Internet search giant stopped short of pulling out of China altogether, saying it wants to keep its research and development staff and sales teams in the Mainland.
Google's move to cease self-censoring shifts the burden of censoring Google search results to Chinese authorities.
The White House said it’s disappointed that the two sides were unable to reach an agreement and that theUnited States is committed to Internet freedom.
The decision comes amid heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over a range of issues, from Internet freedom to the yuan exchange rate, economic sanctions on Iran and U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan.
Google first said in January that it would stop censoring search results. That was in response to what it said was a sophisticated cyber attack that it traced to China.
Google has operated google dot c-n in the Mainland since 2006, and employs about 600 employees in China, with roughly half working as engineers.