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Google adds Twitter feed in China, again defying that country's rules [Updated]

March 25, 2010 |  7:33 am
In a move sure to anger Beijing's censors, Google has introduced a real-time Twitter feed on its search results pages -- in effect, lifting a nine-month blackout of the microblogging service in China.

The feed appears alongside search results on Google's Hong Kong-based website, Users in China have been redirected there since Tuesday when Google shuttered its China-based search engine.

The tweets do not show up for all searches, but only for terms that appear to be popular on Twitter. On Thursday morning, that included discussions on such taboo subjects as how to circumvent China's Internet firewall, why Google decided to exit China and a vaccine scandal unfolding in central China.

In another defiant move, Google has also added links on its Hong Kong site to the company's original statement explaining why it was leaving China, but translated into Chinese. The link appears on the home page under the search engine and also as a banner advertisement on some search result pages.

[Updated at 6:05 p.m.: Google said it started rolling out real time search on earlier this month and that it had been fully available for more than a week. "We are constantly releasing new features to international domains as the functionality becomes available and this feature is completely unrelated to the redirection of traffic from to," Google said in an e-mail statement.]

--David Pierson