Google Inc said its earlier report that Internet search services in China were being fully blocked could have been the result of a technical glitch that overstated the problem. Google shares pared losses to 1 percent from a 1.6 percent decline earlier on Thursday after the company said on its website that its Internet search, mobile and advertising services could not be accessed in China. The sell-off underscored investors' ongoing concerns about the fragility of Google's position in the country, after the company had a very public dispute with Beijing over Internet censorship earlier in the year.
However, some Internet users in the country reported no problems accessing the Chinese-language search page Google.cn. Google later said in an emailed statement, “Because of the way we measure accessibility in China, it's possible that our machines can overestimate the level of blockage.” “That appears to be what happened last night when there was a relatively small blockage. It appears now that users in China are accessing our properties normally,” the company added. The world's No. 1 Internet search engine has been reporting sporadic disruptions to its mainland China services since it threatened in January to pull out of the country because of its Internet censorship practices and after a cyber-attack. Google provides public updates about the availability of its services in China through a special website, http://www.google.com/prc/report.html.