In March, it launched an AI lab in cooperation with China's National Development and Reform Commission.
Google pulled its search engine from China seven years ago after it refused to self-censor internet searches, a requirement of the Chinese government.
It's man vs machine this week as Google's artificial intelligence programme Alpha Go faces the world's top-ranked Go player in a contest expected to end in another victory for the machine.
Google's artificial intelligence program Alpha Go took on the Chinese world number one of the ancient board game today in the first of three planned games, beating its human opponent by a narrow margin.
The 'superhuman' Alpha Zero AI played 100 games against rival computer program Stockfish 8, and won or drew all of them.
The AI is the work of Google's Deep Mind division, and is the latest in a series of incredible AI achievements by the company.
An earlier version of the machine, dubbed Alpha Go, was able to defeat the world's top human players of the Chinese board game Go.
Google's Alpha Zero has defeated one of the best chess programs in the world after learning the game from scratch in just four hours.
Alpha Go uses two sets of 'deep neural networks' containing millions of connections similar to neurons in the brain.
Alpha Go will go up against Mr Ke in two more matches slated for Thursday and Saturday this week Mr Ke (left) was among many top Chinese players who were defeated in online contests in January by a mysterious adversary who reportedly won 60 straight victories.
That opponent, called 'The Master', was revealed by Deep Mind to have been an update Alpha Go AI has previously beaten humans in cerebral contests, starting with IBM's Deep Blue defeating chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in 1997.
Speaking ahead of the matches Demis Hassabis, founder of London-based Deep Mind which developed Alpha Go, said 'Alpha Go's successes hint at the possibility for general AI to be applied to a wide range of tasks and areas, to perhaps find solutions to problems that we as human experts may not have considered.' Mr Lee's loss in Seoul last March marked the first time a computer programme had beaten a top player in a full match of the 3,000-year-old Chinese board game, and has been hailed as a landmark event in the development of AI.
After Alpha Go flattened Mr Lee, Mr Ke declared he would never lose to the machine.'Bring it on,' he said on China's Twitter-like Weibo, but he has tempered his bravado since then.