Google plans return to China search market with censored app

Report: Google's Plan to Launch Censored Search Engine in China Revealed

Report: Google's Plan to Launch Censored Search Engine in China Revealed

Google and other U.S. internet giants such as Facebook have made attempts to enter the lucrative Chinese market where the Great Firewall blocks access to their apps, website and services.

Google was harshly criticized both inside and outside the company for going along with Beijing's restrictions on Internet access, dubbed the "Great Firewall of China," when it entered the Chinese market in 2006.

You might have read reports of Google planning to return to China with a Censored Search Engine.

Google has been working on Dragonfly since the spring of 2017 and demonstrated a sanitized version of its search app to Chinese officials, the Intercept reported, citing company documents and unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Google is not commenting on "speculation about future plans".

"Google claims to value freedom and one hopes Google will put its corporate principles and America first, ahead of Chinese cash", he added.

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Google's Android already has the largest market share of any operating system in China, now accounting for roughly 51 percent of all devices.

In recent years, Google has made overtures to Beijing and the country's tech industry, providing its TensorFlow AI products as well as investing in Chinese corporations and startups such as JD.com Inc.

In the years since Google's exit, local competitors have risen up, including China's dominant search engine, Baidu.

Pichai, who became CEO in 2015 when Google became part of parent Alphabet, has said he wants Google to be in China serving Chinese users.

The Intercept also said that the Chinese search app was being tailored for the Google-backed Android operating system for mobile devices.

Almost a decade ago, in January 2010, Google abruptly exited the Chinese market after Gmail was hacked by entities or individuals associated with the Chinese government, seeking to identify and crack down on human-rights activists.

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Other Google employees on internal forums said staying away from China had not changed the course of the Chinese government or brought "any positive change", Bloomberg reported. What is surprising, however, is that Google, back in 2010, withdrew its services from China after it discovered a cyberattack from within the country that targeted it and dozens of other companies.

The New York Times said its report was based on information provided to it by two people - who spoke on condition of anonymity - with knowledge of Google's plans.

What has been censored in China's has varied somewhat over the years. At just over 750 million internet users, China itself is almost as valuable as all of Europe.

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.

"We are interested in setting up an innovation hub in Zhejiang to support Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups", a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying. Google now has more than 700 employees in China.

Zuckerberg under fire as Facebook loses $123 billion in value
Facebook's legal storm seems endless, considering it has already faced dozens of lawsuits following its mishandling of user data. Facebook shares plunged by 19 percent on Thursday, wiping off about 120 billion dollars off its market capitalization.

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