China’s ruling party launches search engine

BEIJING (AP) — The news agency of China’s ruling Communist Party has launched an Internet search site following Google’s decision to close its Chinese search engine last year over censorship.

The site launched Tuesday — — will be operated by Xinhua News Agency in a partnership with a government-owned phone company, China Mobile.

The venture gives China’s ruling party a new tool to try to control what the public sees online. Beijing promotes Web use for business and education but tries to block material deemed subversive or obscene.

Google closed its China-based search engine last March after saying it no longer wanted to comply with Chinese rules requiring it to censor results.