Google search working again in China

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter

NEW YORK ( -- Google users in China were temporarily blocked from accessing the search engine, the company said Thursday, but the site was was once again working a few hours later.

A notice posted on Google's site had said all services other than Gmail were partially or fully blocked in mainland China. No further details were posted.

But later Thursday evening, a Google spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement to that the issue had been resolved.

"Because of the way we measure accessibility in China, it's possible that our machines could overestimate the level of blockage. That seems to be what happened ... when there was a relatively small blockage. It appears now that users in China are accessing our properties normally," the spokeswoman said.

Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) and China have been at odds for months over censorship issues in the country. In January, Google said it was considering leaving China.

Two months later, Google moved its servers out of mainland China to Hong Kong and said it would stop censoring its search results in the country. Google redirected its Chinese users from to its Hong Kong site,, which offers uncensored search results.

Because Google was not hosting its search operations within mainland China, the company was not forced to acquiesce to China's censorship laws. As such, it was up to the Chinese government to block access to the results it deemed objectionable.

But earlier this month, Google said it had renewed its license with the Chinese government and would be allowed to continue operating in the country -- though the search giant did not make any concessions regarding censorship.

Google shares were down 1% in after-hours trading. To top of page

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