Google says mobile services in China partly blocked

The news comes after Google last week snubbed the Chinese government over censorship

Google mobile services have been partly blocked in China, according to the company, after it snubbed the Chinese government over censorship last week.

A China status page set up by Google shows its mobile services were partially blocked in the country starting Sunday.

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It was unclear how widespread the access problems were or whether they were tied to Google's move over censorship last week, when it started redirecting Chinese visitors from Google.cn to its Hong Kong search site, Google.com.hk. While Google had to censor politically sensitive results on its China-based site to meet Chinese government demands, it does not do so on its Hong Kong search engine.

Google search, maps, and news services could not be accessed from Beijing in tests using a China Mobile GPRS data connection.

"We can confirm that our status page indicates that mobile services are partially blocked from within mainland China," a Google spokeswoman said.

The change to the China status page was the first since Google opened it last week. The page also shows that YouTube and Blogger continue to be blocked in China, while Google Docs, Groups, and Picasa are all partially blocked.

Fallout from Google's move has started to hit the company. Chinese Web portal owner Tom Online last week said it had dropped Google for searches on its Website, instead starting to use search from Baidu.com, Google's main rival in China.

A China Unicom executive last week said the mobile carrier does not plan to put Google search on its mobile phones, according to a China Unicom spokeswoman. Google has also postponed the availability of Google apps on phones with its Android operating system from Chinese carriers.

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