Google is shutting down its shopping search offering in China, effective today. The announcement came in a blog post from the company.
Here’s the post (via TechCrunch) from Google vice president of product Sameer Samat (as translated by Google Translate):
We are committed to developing excellent products to help businesses make better use of Internet technology to grow and be successful. To achieve this goal, we need to be more focused on those who really give the online marketing of Chinese enterprises to bring about change more influential products – this means that we must carefully assess existing projects to ensure that the products we are developing and technology can bring real change to the customer’s business and life in China.
In order to better optimize resources, we have decided to close the shopping search service in China. Shopping search the original intention of the development of this product is to set up a bridge between consumers and retailers and traders. Influence after the release of this product, however, did not meet our expectations, we will close this service in China. But we remained unchanged commitment to export goods to other countries around the world and help the Chinese businessmen, Chinese traders can still use Google Shopping to reach consumers in other markets. Accordingly, the future we will focus on mobile advertising AdMob application products, mobile and desktop display advertising products, export-oriented search advertising products. The closure of the shopping search service will be effective on December 12, 2012. We never afraid to try bold, brave innovative ideas, and will continue to do so in the future. Focus resources on core mobile, display and export advertising products, we will be better able to help Chinese enterprises to thrive on the Internet.
Google and China have had an interesting relationship for years. Google first threatened to pull out of the country back in 2010, before ultimately redirecting Google.cn to its Hong Kong site. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google had “softened” its tone on China, but a spokesperson told WebProNews at the time, “Our position on China remains unchanged,” and that the redirect would remain in place.Last month, reports came out that China was blocking certain Google products.
Last month, reports came out that certain services were being blocked in China while the Communist party selected leaders.
Google has still maintained a presence in China, and has continued to operate other parts of its business (like Android) there.