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China Unicom ditches Google on mobiles
Published on: 2010-03-25
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China's second-largest mobile operator has announced it will remove Google's search function from new handsets developed with the US company in the first concrete fallout of the clash with Beijing over internet censorship.

China Unicom said the Google search function would not be provided on phones using the US company's Android-based operating system. Unicom said the handsets' manufacturers would choose which search engines to use instead.

"We are willing to work with any company that abides by Chinese law ... we don't have any co-operation with Google currently," said Lu Yimin, Unicom's president.

The Chinese government has struggled in recent days to respond to Google's decision to redirect Chinese users of its search function to its uncensored Hong Kong site.

Internet users using Google have experienced widely divergent search results in different parts of the country and different times of the day, in part a reflection of splits in the Chinese government over how to react to the US group's move.

But Unicom's statement is confirmation that Google's stance against censorship in China could carry a substantial commercial cost, through its exclusion from the fast-growing mobile internet market in the country.

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