Biz back to usual for Google China

Google spokesperson refutes reports that company plans to halt Nexus One sale in China, following delays of two Motorola and Samsung-made Android handsets.
Written by Victoria Ho, Contributor

Google will postpone the debut of two Android smartphones in the country, but this move will not affect the Nexus One, a company executive says.

According to a Dow Jones Newswire report, Google intends to delay the Chinese launch of two Samsung and Motorola devices based on its Android OS. These were initially slated for launch today with local carrier, China Unicom.

It quoted a source as saying Google felt it would be "irresponsible" to release the phones in China during this time. In addition, the search giant is reviewing its other services in the country such as music search and the Chinese versions of Google Maps and Gmail, in light of the uncertainty over its presence in China at this time, the report said.

The delay of the Android devices are leading some reports to speculate whether the Google-branded Nexus One smartphone would also be held back in the country, but a Singapore-based company spokesperson refuted this in an e-mail to ZDNet Asia.

He confirmed the Motorola and Samsung delays, but said it would not affect the release of Nexus One in China. The device currently ships to the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Google spokesperson added that the availability of mobile apps on the Android Market on Chinese operators would also be delayed.

Last week, the company announced it may cease operations in China in response to a set of "highly sophisticated and targeted attacks" on Google's Gmail service, which the company alleged originated from China. In particular, the attacks were targeted at accounts belonging to a number of human rights activists, said Google.

Following its announcement, the company proceeded to lift its censorship practices in China, previously applied to search results in compliance with the country's government mandate.

It also temporarily shut down its China operations, cutting employees in that office off from its internal network, so as to allow Google to test its network integrity, according to a Reuters report.

The issue has received attention from the U.S. government as well, which last week said it would issue a formal complaint to China for an explanation of the cyberattacks.

According to latest reports, however, Google China's results appear to be back on the censorship board.

The Chinese government reiterated its policy on censorship shortly after Google's original announcement.

Editorial standards