The new Chinese service at http://www.google.cn will offer a self-censored version of Google's popular search system that restricts access to thousands of terms and websites.
   
Hot topics might include issues like independence for Taiwan or Tibet or outlawed spiritual group Falun Gong.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday: "Other products, such as Gmail and Blogger, will be introduced only when we are comfortable that we can do so in a way that strikes a proper balance among our commitments to satisfy users' interests, expand access to information, and respond to local conditions".

Aggressive competition

In seeking to compete more aggressively in the world's second biggest internet market, where Google has lost ground to a more popular home-grown search company Baidu Inc, the company is facing the toughest challenge yet to its corporate mantra of "don't do evil." 
   

"Other products, such as Gmail and Blogger, will be introduced only when we are comfortable that we can do so in a way that strikes a proper balance among our commitments to satisfy users' interests, expand access to information, and respond to local conditions"

Google Inc

In a compromise that trades off Google's desire to provide universal access to information in order to exist within local laws, Google will not offer its Gmail email service, web log publishing services or chat rooms - tools of self-expression that could be used for political or social protest.
   
Instead, it said it would initially offer four of its core services, website and image search, Google News and local search, while working towards introducing additional services over time. 

The move in China comes less than a week after Google resisted the US Justice Department's efforts to get information about commonly used sex search terms.