Google to end services for two online products in China

The search engine is phasing out its deals with Chinese companies to provide censored search results

As Google restructures its operations in China, the company announced on Tuesday that it would end technical support for two services belonging to a popular online forum in the country.

The move is part of a plan, made public in March, to phase out the company's deals with Tianya, in which Google bought a stake in 2007. The popular online forum will see its Google-backed support end this week for both a question-and-answer forum and social-networking service.

"In the future, Google and Tianya will separately operate two different question-and-answer services. To the users who enjoyed these products, we apologize," Google said in a Chinese-language blog post.

Google's announcement stems from the company's decision in March to stop censoring its search results in China. The decision angered Chinese officials and threatened to derail Google's many partnerships with other Chinese companies.

To continue operating in the country, Google has reworked its China homepage, Google.cn, to ensure that the website does not automatically link to any search services that provide uncensored results. Currently Google.cn acts as a "landing page" that provides a clickable link to Google's uncensored Hong Kong search engine.

In Tuesday's blog post, Google also announced it would be shutting down two of its products in China. Google's "rebang," or hot list website, along with its "shenghuo," or life page, will both be closed due to lack of user interest.

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Michael Kan

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