Chinese officials remained critical Tuesday of Google’s (GOOG.NASDAQ) decision to end censorship of its Chinese-language search results, but the authorities didn’t go so far as to block the Hong Kong-based site to which Google.cn now redirects, the Wall Street Journal reported. However, some of the filtering mechanisms used against overseas internet content prevented users within China from seeing most results for politically sensitive search terms on the Hong Kong site. Speaking at a regular news briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang insisted that Google’s action had only harmed its corporate reputation, not that of China. The Chinese internet unit of TOM Group (2383.HK) has already removed Google’s search service from its portal. Sina.com (SINA.NASDAQ), a portal with which Google is also a partner, didn’t disclose its plans, but noted that it had developed a search engine internally. It is unclear what will become of Google’s partnership with China Mobile (0941.HK, CHL.NYSE) or the other services it offers in the mainland.
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