Google Maps Back in China After Eight Years

Zhang Yong CEO of Alibaba introduces its artificial intelligence ET Brain at conference 2017

Google has denied bringing back its mapping service to China, following a report on Tuesday that the United States internet search giant is making it available again in the world's second-largest economy.

The company has set up a China-specific version of the Google Maps website and introduced a map app for Chinese iPhones.

It has been roughly eight years since Google pulled almost all of its services from China after it refused to go along with government censorship requests, but now Google has tentatively returned to the country with a version of Google Maps made specifically for China. "There have been no changes to Google Maps in China". Further to this, all turn-by-turn navigational features link out to the AutoNavi app, a service owned by Chinese internet monolith Alibaba. "Google, however, stated that the Google Maps browser has been available in China for many years while there is no Maps application offered in the country", Reuters reported.

Cooperation will help Google draw on AI experts in China, and could pave the way for more effective research and development. It looks like the original source may have gotten some wires crossed because Google is releasing a statement to deny that it has launched a new version of Maps for China. However, other major services of Google's company are still not available in China, such as Google Search and YouTube. Google also launched an app for Apple devices and can easily be downloaded from the Apple App Store.

New tax law won't affect 2017 filing season
Nonpartisan tax experts project that the law will bring lower taxes for the great majority of Americans, though not all. The IRS also plans to to help individual taxpayers determine the correct amount of withholding by the end of February.

Google's made inroads in China in other ways, though.

To rationalize that Google widening its presence in the country will lead to re-enabling its search engine, there is quite a stretch, as the company still has many hurdles to go through to get to that point. In December, it opened the Google AI China Center, setting up a Beijing office with room for 300 workers.

Nikkei notes the China seems interested in developing AI.

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