Google Translate app no longer available in China, marking US tech giant’s latest retreat from world’s biggest internet market
- The popular app has been inaccessible to its tens of millions of users across mainland China since Saturday
- Users are redirected to a generic search bar, which suggests bookmarking the app’s Hong Kong webpage that is also inaccessible on the mainland
The app has been inaccessible to mainland Chinese users since Saturday. They have been redirected to a generic search bar, with a notice asking users to bookmark the service’s Hong Kong webpage, which is also inaccessible on the mainland.
The move to discontinue Google Translate’s service in China was first reported by TechCrunch. Google told the American online news site that the app’s pullback was “due to low usage” on the mainland.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.
While a number of Chinese technology companies provide a range of translation services, the Google Translate app has a large user base in the country. In August, the Chinese Google Translate website recorded 53.5 million visits from desktop and mobile users combined, according to data on web analytics platform Similarweb.
The move to discontinue Google Translate on the mainland reflects the US tech giant’s complex history with the Chinese government.
On Chinese social media over the weekend, users lamented the loss of Google Translate. “You can’t use this and you can’t use that, having to read foreign documents every day,” one user wrote on Chinese question-and-answer site Zhihu. “Now I don’t know what to do.”
Google, which has made several attempts to revive its presence on the mainland, has been running modest operations outside its core search engine business. These include developer services, supporting Chinese companies to advertise online overseas and storage management app Files Go.