Google reports brief search outage in China

Google says the blockage may have been overestimated

Google's search engine in China appeared to have been partially blocked overnight Thursday, but a Google spokeswoman said the service was up and running again by Friday morning local time.

A Google site that monitors the company's services in China indicated that its Web search service had been blocked, along with its image search, ads and mobile services.

Google's services in China are being closely watched for signs of disruption ever since the company stopped censoring its search results there earlier this year.

Google spokeswoman Jessica Powell said the company overestimated the latest disruption, however.

"Because of the way we measure accessibility in China, it's possible that our machines can overestimate the level of blockage," she said. "That appears to be what happened last night when there was a relatively small blockage."

Attempts to use Google's search engine from Beijing Friday morning were successful, though when blockages are in place they can vary by region.

Last month Google faced a possible shutdown of its services in China when it was unclear whether the Chinese government was going to renew its Internet Content Provider license. The government finally renewed the license after Google stopped automatically redirecting Chinese users to its search engine in Hong Kong.

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