Google has shut down its online shopping search service in China, a further tightening move in the country after the company shut down its Music Search in the country last fall.
The site no appears as a link on the Google.cn website, and Google confirmed the move in its China blog.
“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,” Google stated in the blog. “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.”
Like its Music Search, Google Shopping in China faced formidable competition from Baidu and Alibaba’s own retail service eTao.
Google’s presence in China has declined since its 2010 shutdown of its China-based search engine over censorship issues with the Chinese government. Since then, the company’s search engines have been continually slowed and entangled in government censorship efforts. Last month, the government briefly blocked all of Google’s sites in the country. The popularity of Google search has sank, maintaining only a 5 percent share of the Chinese search market, according to CNZZ.com, the data analytics site.
“Google should focus on non-search business (in China). They posed no competition to Alibaba from day one,” said Wallace Cheung, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Credit Suisse. “AdMob and mobile/desktop display are good businesses for Google, without any concern about their government relationship.”