Google Shuts Down Google Translate in China, Its Last Product In the 2nd Largest Economy

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Google - Breithaupt Street, Kitchener via Unsplash
Google - Breithaupt Street, Kitchener via Unsplash

Alphabet’s Google on Monday said it terminated the Google Translate service in mainland China, citing low usage.

The move is the end of one of its last remaining services in the world’s second-largest economy.

The dedicated mainland China website for Google Translate now redirects users to the Hong Kong version of the service. However, this is not accessible from mainland China.

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“We are discontinuing Google Translate in mainland China due to low usage,” Google said in a statement.

Google has always been grappling with the Chinese market. The U.S. technology giant shut down its search engine from China in 2010 because of strict government censorship online. Its other services — such as Google Maps and Gmail — are also effectively blocked by the Chinese government.

Consequently, local competitors such as search engine Baidu and social media and gaming giant Tencent have took over the Chinese internet landscape in areas from search to translation.

Google has a minimal presence in China these days. Some of its hardware, including smartphones, are made in China. But The New York Times reported last month that Google had shifted some production of its Pixel smartphones to Vietnam.