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Google finally blames China for search blocks

Google has blamed China for interruptions to its Chinese-language search service after initially saying changes to its system code caused the outages....

Google ultimately blamed China for interruptions to its Chinese-language search service after initially saying changes to its system code caused the outages.

The internet firm said the code changes were made a week ago and therefore could not be responsible for disruptions to the search service.

The disruption led to speculation that China had decided to punish Google for its decision to bypass Chinese web filtering systems by routing Chinese-language searches through Hong Kong.

Many analysts believe it is just a matter of time before China's sophisticated Internet filters block the Google site, according to the New York Times.

By Wednesday, Google said its search traffic in China had returned to normal and the company would continue to monitor the situation.

The outages come just a week after Google announced that it had stopped censoring Chinese-language search results.

The decision relates to hacking attacks on Google and at least 20 other US companies in December, which Google said in January were China-based.

Search engine experts believe frequent disruptions could cause Google to lose most of its advertising business in China, according to the Financial Times.

One employee at Google China described the situation as "death by a thousand cuts".

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