Is Google Maps coming back to China?

Is Google Maps coming back to China?

Is Google Maps coming back to China?

When asked to bow down to China's strict censorship laws in 2010, tech giant Google made the decision to pull its most popular services entirely from the country rather than comply.

According to Nikkei, Google was planning to release a modified version of Google Maps for iPhones in China.

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 was said to contain most of Maps's major features, but with a few restrictions compared to the Western version - it'd only work in China, for example, and any attempt to use navigation would have redirected users to Alibaba Group Holding's AutoNavi mapping app.

According to Nikkei, Google has launched a version of Maps optimized for the country.

Yesterday, we brought you the surprising news that Google was returning to China.

While the USA tech giant's flagship search engine is still inaccessible in the country, users have discovered mobile apps with map functions based on Google data have become accessible in recent days.

In February past year, media reported that Google was in talks with NetEase, China's second-largest operator of online games, to form a venture to launch Google's app store in China. After an 8-year absence, Google Maps is finally now available in the East Asian country. The two sides seem to have agreed to put aside discussions of Google's search and video-sharing sites like YouTube, where a clash is likely, and instead cooperate on AI development, an executive at a Chinese internet company said. More recently, Google announced its plans to set up an AI research center in Beijing.

This comes shortly after the news that the US-based tech giant joined an investment in Chushou, a Chinese live-stream mobile game platform, which suggests the company is making new inroads in the Chinese market.

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