hile you’ll need a VPN to access Google’s search engine in China, Google’s not about to advertise that to you.
On Wednesday, vpnMentor, a research site offering reviews and tips regarding VPN products, received an email from Google Ads altering them that they would not be able to advertise the Chinese version of their site in China due to “local legal restrictions.”
A Google spokesperson later confirmed to Inkstone that VPN ads being banned in China was nothing new for the company, saying: “We have long-standing policies prohibiting ads in our network for private servers, in countries where such servers are illegal. All advertisers have to comply with local laws.”
Google shut down its Chinese search engine back in 2010, but still maintains a small presence in China, including through Google Ads on some Chinese websites. Last year, the company was exposed for apparently planning a big comeback in the Middle Kingdom, developing a sophisticated censored search engine which would automatically block any websites or searches not approved under the Great Firewall.
Despite the resulting backlash, employees say that Google may still be continuing to work on the project as the world’s biggest corporations are becoming more and more amenable to working with China in its censorship of the internet. Back in 2017, Apple went about removing all foreign VPN apps from its China app store at the direction of Chinese authorities.