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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Google China Removes Auto-Suggest Following Gov’t Anti-Porn Initiative

Fingerpointing towards Google in a report by state-controlled CCTV; the user shows how he enters [xing], later stumbling upon scantily clad people in Google Images.

The search auto-completion feature on Google China’s homepage was recently removed. Why? Apparently, the Chinese government is on a mission to fight porn, and auto-suggestions might help people find adult sites. (A Chinese research mob – a “human flesh search engine” – found some problems with the govt’s tales, though.) Or were there other, more political problems with Google Suggest, of which we aren’t told? Via email here’s Google’s comment on the whole issue:

Google has been working to remove pornography from our search results in China, in accordance with our operating license there. This has been a major engineering effort, and we believe we have addressed many of the problems identified by the Government. As part of these efforts, we have also temporarily disabled the Google Suggest feature on

Google adds:

Finally, we have redesigned the home page of to remove the radio buttons that offer language and locale options. These buttons were used by a very small percentage of our users. All other links on the home page of remain unchanged.

Part of Google China’s auto-suggest feature was transliteration from Pinyin to Chinese characters, though, a feature that’s also gone now. However, there’s still Google’s nice IME (Input Method Editor) for that.


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