Google Translate app makes its comeback to China with help from hip-hop star

October 16, 2017
Industry News
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Sarah Dai

After an absence of seven years, the American tech giant has reintroduced its Translate mobile app to Chinese users as it searches for a way back

Google has launched a campaign promoting its Translate mobile app to a new generation of Chinese users as it apparently looks for a way back in after a seven-year absence from the country.

The American technology giant moved its online search service from the mainland to Hong Kong in 2010 after a cyberattack targeting Gmail users and a clash with the authorities over censorship. Today many of its services, such as Gmail and Google Map, remain blocked by the Chinese authorities.

Google reintroduced the free Translate app to mainlanders without much fanfare in March. But it is now seeking to boost its popularity with its biggest consumer product launch in China in seven years.

The campaign, targeting “a generation of users who are new to the Google brand”, aims to increase take-up of the real-time image and audio translation app, according to creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), which has made a 30-second advertisement for the app.

“Google Translate is one of our most beloved products worldwide. We are excited to introduce the app to Chinese consumers and let them discover a world without language barriers,” said Zhang Yibing, product marketing manager of Google China, in a statement.

Since the Chinese version of the app was quietly updated in March, it has been rated 4.5 out of 5 on the Apple Store. It appears to be the first time Chinese users have been able to download a Google app on both the Android operating system and iOS and use it without a VPN – a virtual private network – to help bypass China’s firewall.Continue Reading

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