Google's China row hits Android phone launch

The unveiling of two new Android handsets has been delayed amid ongoing negotiations between Google and the Chinese government

Google has announced the postponement of the Chinese launch of two new Android smartphones, a week after it said it may have to shut down its search business in that country.

Two handsets — one from Motorola, one from Samsung — were scheduled to be unveiled in conjunction with China Unicom on Wednesday, but Google issued a statement on Tuesday saying "the launch [Google had] been working on with China Unicom has been postponed".

China Unicom has also reportedly issued a statement in which it said the launch of the Samsung GT-i6500U 'Saturn' and Motorola XT701 'Sholes' handsets was being "indefinitely delayed".

Last week, on 12 January, Google revealed that its systems had come under attack from hackers in China. The web giant also said the Gmail accounts of some pro-democracy Chinese activists had been compromised.

As a result, Google said it was no longer willing to censor its search results in the Chinese market, and acknowledged this might mean a withdrawal from business in China, due to local laws. Although Google only talked about possibly having to shut down, the company's web services are integral to the Android mobile operating system.


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