Google reportedly planning a censored search engine for China

Lloyd Doyle
August 2, 2018

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Google declined Wednesday to confirm reports that it plans to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, where its main search platform was previously blocked, along with its YouTube video platform.

Google responded to the report in a statement to The Verge saying, "we don't comment on speculation about future plans". The documents reportedly reference a project codenamed Dragonfly that has been underway since spring 2017. It said the project began to progress more quickly following a December meeting between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and a senior Chinese government official.

There was no guarantee the project would result in Google search returning to China.

Google programmers and engineers have reportedly made an Android app that's already been shown to the Chinese government.

Once the app is completed, if Google believes the product excels China's current leading search engine, Baidu, and it gets approved by China's government, Dragonfly would be the USA search giant's biggest step in the Chinese market. The Intercept's source also says searches for certain terms will yield no results. Google has more than 88,000 employees.

The company withdrew from providing search tools to the Chinese market in 2010, and its worldwide search engine is blocked by the country's so-called "Great Firewall".

Google did operate in the country from 2006 to 2010, when it also agreed to the local censorship laws, facing harsh criticism from United States officials. Furthermore, Google's ability to deliver censored search might convince other governments to require similar apps to allow Google to operate in those countries. And Chinese technology companies must provide the government access to information on their users.

Since then, Chinese censorship and surveillance policies have only worsened, especially after China's president Xi Jinping's party took power in 2013.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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