Google Inc. launched a search engine in China that censors material about human rights, Tibet and other topics sensitive to Beijing — defending the move as a trade-off granting Chinese greater access to other information.

Within minutes of the launch Jan. 25 of the new site bearing China’s Web suffix “.cn,” searches for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement showed scores of sites omitted and users directed to articles condemning the group posted on Chinese government Web sites.