(CNN) — Google on Monday announced it has stopped censoring search results in China.
The announcement came amid speculation that the search giant would pull out of China entirely and sets up a showdown with the Communist leadership there.
In a 3:03 p.m. ET post on its official blog, Google said it stopped running the censored Google.cn service on Monday and was routing its Chinese users to an uncensored version of Google based in Hong Kong.
« We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement, » said Senior Vice President David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer, on the blog.