Google shuts down its online translation service in China
Last Friday, Alphabet’s Google shut down its streaming service Stadia 3 years after its launch for failure to gain traction from gamers. Although the tech giant has maintained its global dominance in the search engine space, Google continues to struggle in other areas as it trails behind tech companies.
Today, Google said it shut down its Google Translate service in mainland China, citing low usage. The shutdown marks the end of one of Google’s last remaining products. Google only has a very limited footprint in the world’s second-largest economy after it pulled its search engine from the market in 2010 with local players including Baidu and Tencent coming to dominate the internet landscape.
The China website for Google Translate now redirects users to the Hong Kong version of the service. However, the site is not accessible from mainland China. “We are discontinuing Google Translate in mainland China due to low usage,” Google said in a statement cited by Hill Magazine.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that the Hong Kong version of the translation service isn’t accessible in the country without a virtual private network (VPN).
Over the years, Google has struggled to gain traction in China amid competition from other homegrown search engines, such as China-based Alibaba. The company its search engine from the country in 2010 due to strict censorship rules.
Google is one of many US companies pulling out of China. Last year, Epic Games called it quit in China. The gaming giant shut down the Chinese version of Fortnite, “Fortress Night” on November 15. Epic Games pulled out just three months after the Chinese government banned kids from playing online games for more than 3 hours per week to safeguard their physical and mental health.