Chinese Users Report New Google Disruptions

China’s government appeared to block almost all searches by Chinese users on Google Inc. (GOOG) sites Tuesday, sharply escalating the battle with the U.S. Internet giant a week after it stopped obeying Beijing’s censorship rules.

Users in cities across China starting late Tuesday afternoon reported that all searches–even of terms as mundane as “happy”–on Google’s Hong Kong site produced an error message saying the results page couldn’t be opened. Google stopped operating its self-censored Chinese search site on March 22 and began routing Chinese users to the Hong Kong site, which Google doesn’t censor. Searches by Chinese users on Google’s main global site,, also returned error messages Tuesday.

Users in some cities said they couldn’t access, the mainland Chinese Web address Google has long used, which since last week has automatically sent users to the Hong Kong site. Google’s music search service also appeared to be inaccessible.

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