Google mobile service blocked in China

Move comes a week after company moved off mainland

Google said its mobile services have been partially blocked in China for two days, while searches on its Chinese-language site became erratic, about a week after the company shut its mainland Chinese portal and rerouted Web searches to a Hong Kong site.

On a website showing the accessibility of Google's services in China, the company listed mobile as "partially blocked" on Sunday and Monday. Prior to Sunday, there were no issues with mobile services in China, according to the site.

The leading Internet search provider has said it intends to retain some business operations in mainland China, including research and development staff and a sales team, but analysts have said that the Chinese government could make life difficult for Google.

"We can confirm that our status page indicates that mobile services are partially blocked from within mainland China," a Google spokeswoman told Reuters, but did not speculate on the cause for the outages.

Some users in Shanghai on Tuesday reported no problems with searching through Google's mobile service, indicating that the outages are intermittent.

Other mobile users have had problems ever since Google stopped censoring search results in China earlier this month by effectively shutting and rerouting traffic to an uncensored site in Hong Kong.

Searches on that site from within mainland China have also been unstable, with some searches for normally non-sensitive terms returning blank pages.

At other times, even sensitive searches return a normal result, showing links to pages that are then blocked by China's Internet filters.

Google on March 22 said it would pull its Chinese-language search services out of China, citing concerns over censorship and after a hacking attack late in 2009 that originated from China spurred it to rethink its China strategy.