Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Google still considering a censored search engine in China: Sundar Pichai

Google CEO confirms secretive Chinese search engine project Science 16 Oct 2018 Google's working on 'censored' Chinese search engine CEO Pichai confirms
Sherri Watson | 18 October, 2018, 08:57

Previously, Google made an attempt to grow in China, but that struggle went all in vain.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says it is important to re-enter China by providing more relevant search queries though he did not provide a time frame for the launch.

"We needed to realize what it would look like if Google were in China, with the goal that's what we constructed inside", Mr. Pichai said at the Wired meeting in San Francisco.

"Dragonfly" is a rumoured effort inside Google to develop a search engine for China that would censor certain terms and news outlets, among other things. Until now, everything we knew about Google's project for the Chinese market came from rumors and leaks and triggered controversies between the U.S. government and the company.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai affirms, without debating the Chinese censorship of the Internet, that Google in China would satisfy not less than 99% of the Chinese citizens. It's still too early, and we don't know if we can do this in China, but we think it's important that we explore this market.

"We deeply respect what they do to protect our country", he said. And it could pave the way for Google to reenter China's online search market after almost a decade.

Through internal tests, he said Google found it would be able serve "well over 99% of queries".

Google left the Chinese search engine provision market in 2010, largely due to censoring issues. Entering the Chinese market as a recognized and government approved service will undoubtedly be very beneficial for quarterly earnings calls. Google is apparently weighing heavily on China in round two though even as it looks to balance a set of values including freedom of expression and the law of the land.

The project was made public in August, when anxious Google employees took internal documents to the press.

Google Project Dragonfly is real after all.

In a subtle dig at Baidu, one of Google's largest domestic competitors, Pichai said "today people either get fake cancer treatments or they actually get useful information", an apparent reference to a 2016 case where Baidu was found to have "distorted" information found through its portal about ineffective "medical treatments". "I was compelled 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. That includes being open to plans for working with the Government in the future, perhaps in areas including cybersecurity and transportation planning.