Google has officially announced that it has discontinued its shopping service in China. Google announced the decision to shut down the shopping service via an email stating, “Shopping in China was not providing businesses with the level of impact we had hoped, so we will be sunsetting it in order to focus on the products that do.”
There have been tensions in the past between the internet giant Google and Chinese censorship groups. This is not the first time Google has halted one of its services in the region. Back in 2010, there was a standoff between the two regarding censorship, which lead to Google pulling its search service from the country. The issue was eventually resolved when China renewed Google’s license to operate after compromising on censorship issues.
More recently, Google has also stopped its free music service. The decision to discontinue the music service was not based on censorship disputes but the lack of popularity among users in China. The director of Google China, Boon-Lock Yeo, wrote “we have decided to shut down the music search services in China and turn our focus to more influential products.”
Google’s decision to halt unpopular services to focus other popular services is not uncommon. In the last year, Google has made changes to around 50 of its services to create a better user experience.
It appears that Google is shutting down its shopping service in China due to the same policy. A post on the Google China blog, Google’s Vice President of Product Management wrote, “in order to better optimize resources, we have decided to close the shopping search service in China.”
The company announced it will “focus on mobile advertising AdMob application products, mobile and desktop display advertising products, export-oriented search advertising products.”
Despite past tensions, Google appears to be dedicated to continuing and improving their presence in China.