Google postpones Android phone launch in China

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Google postpones Android phone launch in China

Firm admits planned launch with China Unicom has been halted.

The fallout from Google's decision to stop censoring searches on its Chinese site continued today as it emerged that the web giant's plans to further expand its Android phone platform in China have been halted.

The search giant had planned to launch two Android phones tomorrow, one from Motorola and one from Samsung, running on the network of Chinese operator China Unicom, according to reports.

However, a Google spokesperson confirmed today: "The launch we have been working on with China Unicom has been postponed."

The firm declined to shed any light on whether the decision had come as a direct result of its intention to stop filtering internet searches in China, following a hacking attempt on its systems originating in the country.

It is thought, however, that the sticking point was not the Android platform itself, but Google applications such as Gmail and Maps, which the phones were slated to carry. If Google does indeed pull out of the region users of the phones would have been left high and dry without these features.

The news came as the Chinese authorities referred to Google by name for the first time since the hacking scandal broke, according to reports.

"Foreign enterprises in China need to adhere to China's laws and regulations, respect the interests of the general public and cultural traditions and shoulder corresponding responsibilities. Google is no exception," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu is reported as saying at a news briefing.

In related news, Google is investigating whether the hacking attack was facilitated by some of its Google China employees, according to a Reuters report citing two sources "familiar with the situation".

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