A breakdown in negotiations with the Government has led to Google today ceasing to censor its search engine results in China in a move that will put one of the world’s most powerful companies on a collision course with one of its most repressive governments.

The international group Human Rights Watch has described today as “a crucial moment for freedom of expression in China”. Meanwhile Reporters Without Borders has urged other internet companies in China to join Google in refusing to censor. “If a common front is established...the Chinese Government will have no choice but to allow access to a freer internet.”