Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirms censored China search engine

Lloyd Doyle
October 16, 2018

Google has come under domestic criticism after reports it was considering re-entering the Chinese search engine market and would agree to comply with China's internet censorship and surveillance policies.

With China representing 20% of the world's population, Pichai said they believed it was important to explore the option of providing Google's services in the country.

Google CEO Sundar Pinchai has said a separate, censored version of its search engine for the Chinese market has undergone several successful internal tests.

The concerns that USA officials, Google employees and civil rights activists alike have, are that if Google did release a version that complies with the Chinese government's heavy restrictions, it will be helping it in limiting free speech.

"It's very early. We don't know whether we could or would do this in China, but we felt it was important for us to explore", Pichai said at the Wired25 conference in San Francisco.

Mr Pichai was speaking on Monday at Wired Magazine's 25th anniversary summit here in the US.

"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.

Google had launched a search engine in China in 2006 but pulled the plug in 2010.

During the conference, the Google CEO also defended the company's plans by saying that entering the Chinese market would serve them better results for things like cancer treatment. "So that's what we built internally". "It's an important input we take seriously".

In an August 31 letter to United States senators, Pichai wrote: "We hope to stay at the forefront of technology developments and believe that Google's tools could help to facilitate an exchange of information and learning that would have broad benefits inside and outside China".

Earlier this month, U.S. vice-President Mike Pence called for Google to immediately halt work on Dragonfly, saying in a speech that it would "strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers". While that sounds good on paper, considering the amount of internet users in china, more than 800 million, that translates to hundreds of thousands of searches that will be denied.

"I was forced to resign my position on August 31, 2018, in the wake of a pattern of unethical and unaccountable decision making from company leadership", Poulson wrote in his letter of resignation.

Information regarding Google's "Dragonfly" project began surfacing in August and since then the company has faced severe backlash from its employees as well as the U.S. government.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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