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Google launched its China-based site in 2006 after the filters blocked many Chinese users from reaching its main site.

The Mountain View, California-based company announced in January it no longer wished to comply with Chinese censorship and said hackers working from China tried to steal its code and break into e-mail accounts of human rights activists.

The statement was an embarrassment for China’s leaders, who want foreign companies to help develop its technology industries.

Google hopes to keep a research center in China, an advertising sales team that generates most of its revenue in the country and a fledgling mobile phone business.

It has a 30 percent share of China’s search traffic, versus 60 percent for local rival Baidu Inc. Baidu is expected to pick up any advertising lost by Google but industry analysts say the lack of competition if the U.S. company leaves could slow the development of what Chinese leaders see as an important industry.

In a statement June 8, the government said the Internet played an “irreplaceable role in accelerating the development of the national economy.” But it vowed to keep a tight grip on online content and to block subversive material.

Regulators block websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to prevent dissidents and human rights or Tibet activists from using them to spread criticism of Beijing.