Timeline: Google's growth and censorship woes in China

Google this week said it will stop censoring Google.cn and may exit China

Google this week said it would stop censoring search results on Google.cn, its search engine for users in China, and that the company may exit China altogether. Google has had a bumpy ride in China, where it trails leading search engine Baidu.com by a large margin and has faced tough government censors. The below timeline tracks Google's history in China:

Sep. 2000: Google starts offering a Chinese-language version of its search engine for worldwide users.

Sep. 2002: Chinese visitors to Google.com are rerouted to other Web sites as the domain name is temporarily hijacked in the country.

July 2005: Google appoints former Microsoft executive Kai-Fu Lee as head of Google's China operations. Microsoft sues Google to block Lee from being hired, but the companies later reach a settlement and Lee keeps the post.

Jan. 2006: Google launches Google.cn, a version of its site for Chinese users that censors pornographic and certain politically sensitive search results. Human rights groups slam Google for bowing to Chinese government demands for censorship.

April 2007: Google apologizes for using part of an application developed by China's Sohu.com in Google software that lets users type Chinese characters by inputting standard English characters.

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Owen Fletcher

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