Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Google Stops Informing Chinese Users About Disruptive Searches

Don't Miss Out —
Follow us on:
Google Stops Informing Chinese Users About Disruptive Searches
Pedestrians walk past the Google Inc. logo displayed outside the building housing the company's China headquarters in Beijing, China. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc. removed a feature from its website that notified users in China about search terms that might become targets of the country’s Internet censors and result in service disruptions.

The feature, introduced in June, was disabled sometime between Dec. 5 and Dec. 8, said, a website that collects data about China’s so-called Great Firewall. Taj Meadows, a Google spokesman in Japan, confirmed that the feature has been disabled and declined to comment further.

The decision to remove the service is part of Google’s broader efforts to find the right approach in China, where the government blocks websites that contain pornography, gambling and content critical of the ruling Communist Party. Google said in January 2010 it wouldn’t self-censor content for Chinese services, shuttered its local search page and redirected users to a Hong Kong site.

“I would say it is tactical -- they found the censorship notification function not so helpful for end users,” said Isaac Mao, director of Sharism Lab, an independent research center on social networks and business. “They wanted to make a goodwill gesture.”

Searches for some terms previously triggered a drop-down box saying they might “temporarily break your connection to Google.”

The decision to provide the notifications came after Google concluded that searches from China were “inconsistent and unreliable.” It put up the notification to make clear that users weren’t being affected by problems with Google’s systems.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.