Washington: American tech giant Google on Monday (local time) announced that it was shutting down the Google Translate service in mainland China, citing low usage in the country, as per reports.
“We are discontinuing Google Translate in mainland China due to low usage,” Google said in a statement cited by The Hill.
Earlier, several media reports said that the Hong Kong version of the translation service is not accessible in the area without a virtual private network.
“Google is shutting down its Translate service in mainland China, one of the tech giant’s few remaining products still available in the country,” CNN also said in a Tweet, adding that “back in 2010, CNN reported on the end of Google’s search engine service in China after it stopped self censoring.”
Notably, China is accused of collecting a staggering amount of personal data from millions of citizens with the intention to design a system where they can find out a person’s identity, which will help the government in maintaining its authoritarian rule.
However, the Chinese government never admitted to the surveillance, the details of the spy technologies at work inside China are emerging from the police research papers, surveillance contractor patents and presentations, as well as hundreds of public procurement documents.
The worst thing about surveillance is its patent illegality. Often people don’t know they’re being watched. Chinese authorities interfere in the public’s privacy without permission.
Earlier, China’s 2017 Cybersecurity law made it necessary for businesses that provide essential information infrastructure in China (broadly defined) to keep their data on CCP-run government-run servers.
However, China’s Data Security Law of 2021 gives the Chinese government the authority to inspect foreign companies doing business in China that collect user data under the veiled approach of national security purposes, as per The Financial Post.
The measures mentioned above are merely the beginning of China’s efforts to expand data control outside of its boundaries and Chinese platforms like WeChat and TikTok have come under media scrutiny due to surveillance.