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Google Pulls China Translate App Plugin In Ongoing Retreat

Google says it has shut down its Translate app for China due to low usage.

Google has discontinued its Translate app for China, ending one of the few remaining services that the American giant still operates in the world’s largest internet arena.

The service’s web page in China now shows a photo of a generic search bar that redirects to Google’s Hong Kong translation site, which is not accessible from the mainland. “We have discontinued Google Translate in mainland China due to low usage,” a company representative said in a statement.

Google of Alphabet Inc., which pulled its search engine from mainland China in 2010 due to government censorship of Internet content, has been exploring ways to gain a foothold in the market. It made its translation service available to users in the country in 2017 through a dedicated website and smartphone app. Google had also considered setting up a separate, prototype search service for the Chinese market, but later said that project was being halted.

The shutdown of the translation service comes as tensions between the US and China have escalated and both countries are taking steps to protect sensitive technologies and intellectual property. It comes at a sensitive time, with a major party congress starting this month.

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