Google has reintroduced its Translate mobile apps to China, where they can now be accessed and used without the need for software to bypass local censorship.
Google left China more than seven years ago when it redirected its local search engine to Hong Kong and many of its services are censored in the country. Today’s low-key relaunch marks the first time it has revived a service specifically for users in China.
The google translate apps will be maintained by Google’s joint-venture in China, which runs the services it has remaining there, and will be subject to any government issued requests or censorship, Google confirmed.
Google added that users of the Chinese version have full access to the service, which includes Word Lens, the feature that translates text from photos snapped inside the app. Word Lens gained support Chinese last year and Chinese was the first language Google picked for its new machine learning translation technology, which went live last September and hugely advanced the way the service works.
Google Translate won’t generate revenue for Google, but it may boost its visibility among Chinese internet users.