BEIJING—Google's China search service has taken a hit in the wake of the government’s internet porn purge.
Information Week reports that a study from NetApplications found popular Chinese search engine Baidu surpassed Google in June as the country's top search engine.
NetApplications said Baidu's search market shares began to increase late last year while Google China started slipping in March. The government launched web porn crackdowns at the start of 2009.
In June, Chinese officials met with Google executives to discuss state problems with Google China displaying pornographic images and content based on foreign language searches.
Chinese agencies have taken both Google and Baidu to task for allowing porn in search results, essentially telling them to clean up their acts or face being shut down.
While free speech and internet rights groups have criticized China's suppression as also including the elimination of all political thought, the government has claimed it only seeks to eliminate what it deems "vulgar" content.
The English-language China Daily website recently reported the Ministry of Public Security plans to step up its campaign against online pornography and prostitution, working with nine different government departments and agencies. The latest crackdown also will target search engines that do not filter pornography, the newspaper said.
As of Thursday, Google had not commented on its Chinese search engine decline.