A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch via email that Google Translate has been discontinued in mainland China “due to low usage.” Perhaps there were ulterior motives, but there’s probably some truth to the statement — in China, Google service usage is a sliver of that of homegrown tech behemoths like Baidu and Alibaba.
Google Translate appears to have been disabled in parts of China, redirecting visitors to the Hong Kong domain — which is inaccessible from the mainland. Google replaced the Google Translate interface at translate.google.cn with a generic Google Search page within the last 24 hours, according to Reddit users and site archives viewed by TechCrunch. The change is said to affect the translation features of apps like KOReader, a document viewer, as well as Chrome’s built-in translation functionality for Chinese users. Google has not responded to our request for comment; we will update this piece if we receive a response.