London: Google has reluctantly conceded defeat in its latest effort to combat online censorship in China.
Google’s move comes after a year of behind-the-scenes brinkmanship over sensitive search terms banned by authorities.
The searching giant quietly dropped a warning message shown to Chinese users when they search for politically sensitive phrases, after Beijing found new ways to cut them off from the web, the Guardian reports.
According to the report, Google and Chinese authorities have been involved in a tense game of cat-and-mouse over the issue since May last year, when the feature was unveiled by the US company in an attempt to improve search for Chinese citizens.
The standoff came to a head in December, when Google finally decided to drop the feature because users were still being disconnected by Chinese authorities.
A source in China said Google decided it was ‘counterproductive’ to continue the technical dispute, despite several attempts to get around it, the report said.
A Google spokesman confirmed it removed the notification features in December, but declined to comment further due to the sensitivity of the situation in China, it added.
In November, Google’s English-language and Chinese-language services were blocked for 24 hours as tensions stepped up.
Google resolved to drop the notification features in early December after users continued to report problems for certain searches, the report added.
First Published: Monday, January 7, 2013, 08:50