Google Books has banned all “forced” translations of books from China, with the company telling The Verge it has removed “all content from Chinese language books that is translated from Chinese.”
The move is part of Google’s efforts to keep its own books out of Chinese-language textbooks and Chinese-speaking websites.
“As of this writing, the Google Books platform does not support forced translation,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
“We will continue to work with publishers and publishers groups to ensure this does not happen again.”
Google says it has also banned all content from the “Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Confucian, and Tibetan” domains, including those related to “spiritual or metaphysical subjects,” as well as those that are “non-Buddhistic, secular, or non-Christian.”
Google has also taken a number of steps to curb “offensive” content on its own sites, including blocking the popular social networking site Weibo in China and banning a number other websites, including one from an official government agency.
The company’s actions are part of a broader effort to keep publishers and users from being inundated with content that is deemed “offensive.”
Google is one of the largest publishers in China, but it faces criticism over censorship and the proliferation of fake news on its platform.
As of March 31, Google Books had only 8,929 titles that were flagged as “offensive,” according to the company.
Google has since updated its search results to remove the list, and a spokesperson told The Verge that the company had also begun removing content related to Chinese-specific topics from the search results.
“Google Books is committed to making sure that its content is safe for our customers, and we are working to ensure that our books are available to all, regardless of their language or cultural background,” the spokesperson added.