Timeline: Google's growth and censorship woes in China

Google this week said it will stop censoring Google.cn and may exit China

March 2008: China blocks YouTube and Google News after riots in the country's western region of Tibet, a move apparently meant to stop the spread of information about the politically charged events. YouTube and other Google services such as Blogger have previously been blocked in China.

Aug. 2008: Google begins offering free, ad-supported downloads of music to users in China in competition with a similar service from Chinese search leader Baidu.

March 2009: China again blocks YouTube. It remains blocked through the present.

June 2009: China publicly criticizes Google for allowing Google.cn to serve up pornographic search results. Google.com and other Google services are briefly blocked in the country before Google removes the sensitive results from its search engine.

Sep. 2009: Kai-Fu Lee leaves Google China to start his own company, in a move seen as a blow to Google.

Oct. 2009: A Chinese group says it is considering legal action over alleged copyright infringement by Google in the company's book scanning project. Chinese authors and media start adding their voices to the criticism of Google.

Jan. 2010: Google says it will stop censoring Google.cn and that the move may lead it to close its China offices. Google also says it has been targeted by sophisticated cyberattacks that originated in China and appeared meant to access the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Sources: IDG News Service, Google

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Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
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