Google’s CEO confirms it’s returning to China with a censored search engine

18 October, 2018, 08:58 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • Google CEO confirms secretive Chinese search engine project

Google's conceivable come back to China - a market it relinquished over restriction concerns - was first spilled in August.

The censored search engine is known internally as "Dragonfly" and has been in testing since previous year.

However, Google CEO Sundar Pichai discussed Dragonfly Monday while onstage at the Wired 25 Summit.

The Google CEO also said during the event that the company re-evaluated its choice to pull out of China a few years ago, calling the country a wonderful and innovative market. He said China is an important market for the search giant given its size and took a swipe at Baidu by saying Google could compete with local players. According to reports, the censored search engine would block search terms and sites in accordance with the requirements of the Chinese government, but this has been largely speculation.

"It's initial, we don't know whether we would or could do this in China however we felt like it was essential for us to investigate".

The announcement could prompt more questions from USA policymakers, some of whom have accused Google of being evasive about Project Dragonfly. At the same time, The Intercept reported last week that Google chief of the search engine in July suggested the China version could be launched within six to nine months, but also earlier if required.

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What do you think about Google's comeback in the Chinese market?

"But we also follow the rule of law in every country", hinting at censoring search queries that the Chinese government deems harmful to its citizens. He said Google very much supports the U.S. armed forces.

'Today people either get fake cancer treatments or they actually get useful information, ' he said.

"Throughout Google's history we've given our employees a lot of voice and say in it, but we don't run the company by holding referendums", Pichai said.

Project Dragonfly inspired several Google employees to leave the company, either due to the nature of the project itself or the lack of transparency around it from upper management. Going forward, Google is shying away from working with military-related projects over fears of public perception of the company. If that wasn't enough, Google's own employees have signed an open letter calling for Google to abandon the project.

Pichai said that by offering a search engine in China again, the company would be able to provide users with better information than what's available on important subjects, such as cancer treatments. That includes areas such as cybersecurity and logistics.



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