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CONFIRMED: Google Shopping Search Engine for China Shuts Today

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has just confirmed the closure of its Google Shopping China service, just as we speculated last night. The product search engine is thus meeting the same fate as Google’s China-only music service, which closed in September.

A Google representative tells us this morning:

We’ve decided to shut down our Google Shopping service in China. We remain committed to helping Chinese businesses export their goods around the world, and Chinese merchants will still be able to use Google Shopping to reach consumers in other markets. But Shopping in China was not providing businesses with the level of impact we had hoped, so we will be sunsetting it in order to focus on the products that do. These include in-app mobile advertising with AdMob, mobile and desktop display, and export-oriented search advertising.

Though the local version of the product search engine is still online for the time being (at Google.cn/shopping), a blog post has just gone up, in Chinese, on the official Google China blog (see here), but here’s the translation of that, courtesy of Google:

The Google.cn/shopping page yesterday. Click to enlarge.

We aspire to build great products that help businesses take advantage of the Internet to grow and succeed online. To do that, we need to prioritize high-impact products that really change how businesses use the web––which means carefully evaluating our projects to ensure that we’re working on technologies that make a real difference to the lives and businesses of our Chinese customers.

As part of our ongoing effort to prioritize our offerings, we’ve decided to shut down our Google Shopping service in China. Google Shopping helped to connect Chinese shoppers looking for goods with retailers and merchants who could provide them. We remain committed to helping Chinese businesses export their goods around the world, and Chinese merchants will be able to use Google Shopping to reach consumers in other markets. But Shopping in China was not providing businesses with the level of impact we had hoped, and so we will be sunsetting the product in order to focus on the products that do: in-app mobile advertising with AdMob, mobile and desktop display, and export-oriented search advertising. The change will take effect tomorrow, December 12, 2012.

We’ve never been afraid to try big, bold things, and that won’t change. But by targeting our resources more effectively on our core mobile, display, and export ads products, we can better help Chinese businesses grow and thrive on the web.

Other product search engines in China include Alibaba’s eTao, and Netease’s newly-launched Huihui.



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