Google introduces two products in China in one week
Google’s core services are blocked in mainland China, but that didn't stop the internet search giant from introducing a pair of products this week to the world’s largest smartphone market.
The company launched the Chinese version of its file management app, Files Go, to third-party app stores run by Baidu, Huawei, Tencent, and Xiaomi. This came after it announced it's delivering its ARCore technology, which enables augmented reality and virtual reality, to Xiaomi’s app store -- for users of the Mi Mix 2S smartphone.
Google pulled its core search engine and other services from mainland China in 2010 after a bitter spat with Beijing over censorship. While certain apps, like Gmail and YouTube, are still available for download via Apple’s App Store in the country, they cannot function without a virtual private network (VPN) connection.
But after several years out of that market, Google started a campaign last year to promote its Translate mobile app to a new generation of users in China, which had about 1.4 billion mobile subscribers as of December.
At a state-run internet conference in China in December last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said “a lot of work Google does is to help Chinese companies”.
That same month, Google announced it was opening an AI lab in Beijing to “work closely with the vibrant Chinese AI research community”. It also announced a partnership with Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University on computer science courses.