Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

After 8-Year Absence, Google Maps Relaunches In China

After 8-Year Absence, Google Maps Relaunches In China

Google closed down its Chinese search engine over the government censorship requirements, most of its popular services have not been available in China since 2010.

"There have been no changes to Google Maps in China", said Taj Meadows, head of Google's policy communications in Asia Pacific, according to Nikkei.

Alphabet Inc's Google is relaunching its map service after being tightly limited in China after eight years, according to Nikkei.

One thing which could explain Google's return to China with Maps is that the Chinese government is reportedly interested in advancing machine learning technologies that could power self-driving vehicles.

It said that app is powered by Chinese digital mapping and navigation provider AutoNavi, a subsidiary of e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding. It looks like the original source may have gotten some wires crossed because Google is releasing a statement to deny that it has launched a new version of Maps for China. All other Google-related services, including the Android app store Google Play, can not be accessed in China without the use of virtual private networks. "Google, however, stated that the Google Maps browser has been available in China for many years while there is no Maps application offered in the country", Reuters reported. Google also launched an app for Apple devices and can easily be downloaded from the Apple App Store.

It's no secret that China is tremendously strict when it comes to third-party companies, especially ones from America such as Facebook and Google, entering its shore. At least that's something to be happy about as it is a tentative move that shows Google is willing to work around the restrictions imposed by the Chinese government.

The American company announced in December that it would open the Google AI China Center for research into artificial intelligence.

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