China blocked search features on Google on Thursday even as the search giant awaits Beijing's decision on approving or rejecting its operating license renewal application, which expired yesterday.
Google said today through its China Status Page that Web searches in mainland China are being partially blocked. Users from mainland China were not able to use Google's 'suggest' feature, while normal searches that do not use query suggestions remain unaffected.
Google 'suggest' feature offers probable results when a user starts to type a query in the Google search box. For example, typing in letters like au may suggest words like australia, austin, auto etc.
But today, when users from mainland China started typing a query, the results were shown as 'error'.
The partially blockage affected only searches made from within mainland China, not those from Hong Kong.
The blocking of Google's 'suggest' feature came even as the search giant yesterday tried to appease the Chinese authorities by automatically redirecting all its mainland Chinese users to a landing page on Google.cn that links to Google.com.hk, (See: Google may stop redirecting customers in China to its HK search engine) after China objected to and threatened to revoke its operating license for routing users to its unfiltered Hong Kong site.