Pichai Says Google Still Mulling A Censored Search Engine In China

However there's no word on when it might be rolled-out

Google says it 'internally tested' censored China search engine

"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. Customers in China, who know Google's cooperating with their oppressors, are hardly likely to test its boundaries and risk getting disappeared over a search query. Once it rolls out, when a user in China uses Google's search, websites banned by the Chinese government will automatically be filtered out of results. Google tried to suppress an internal memo written by an employee that detailed how some aspects of the service would work.

We built the search engine internally to see what it would look like. Surprisingly, such research-based projects are usually kept confidential but google seems to be breaking the norms in this case.

"There are many, many areas where we would provide information better than what's available".

With a population of almost 1.4 billion, Pichai acknowledged that China would be a valuable market for Google if it returned to the country.

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The announcement could prompt more questions from USA policymakers, some of whom have accused Google of being evasive about Project Dragonfly. 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.

Outside of high-profile leaks, few details have emerged on what the search engine entails as Google has kept tight-lipped on the project.

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 United States government.

"We are compelled by our mission [to] provide information to everyone, and [China is] 20 percent of the world's population", Pichai said.

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Google found that Chinese government censors would block less than 1% of users' searches, according to Pichai. Pichai says that "well over 99 percent of queries" would be served.

Along with former Google Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, several other employees have resigned from the company citing lack of corporate transparency after the it revealed its efforts about "Dragonfly".

He downplayed criticism of his company's decision, arguing "people don't understand fully, but you're always balancing a set of values", he said, adding "but we also follow the rule of law in every country". If that wasn't enough, Google's own employees have signed an open letter calling for Google to abandon the project.

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