Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Tech | By Amelia Peters

Google Reportedly Planning To Relaunch Censored Search Engine In China 08/02/2018

Google Reportedly Planning To Relaunch Censored Search Engine In China 08/02/2018

But operating in China has been a complex struggle for many USA -based businesses.

Most of Google's services were blocked in China after it stopped censoring search content in March 2010.

Even if the censored search engine is not approved, Google seems unlikely to cease its efforts to expand into more and more corners of the Chinese market.

After exiting China eight years ago due to censorship and hacking, Google is tuning a mobile search app that would filter blacklisted search results in order to re-enter the market, according to U.S. media reports. Over the years, rumors of the Google Play Store returning to China have emerged multiple times, only to come to nothing in the end.

Google has been planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China under a project code-named Dragonfly, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. A Google representative told Business Insider, "We don't comment on speculation about future plans".

Recently, Google removed its long-time unofficial motto, "don't be evil," from its corporate code of conduct. And it looks like at least one Google employee familiar with the plans related to China is willing to speak up.

Google's main search platform is blocked in China along with its video platform YouTube, but it has been attempting to make new inroads into China. The project started past year in April after Sundar Pinchai's meeting with the Chinese government.

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A worker, who did not want to be identified, said he saw slides about the censored search engine and that many of Google's executives were aware as well.

Teams of programmers and engineers at Google have created a custom Android app, different versions of which have been named "Maotai" and "Longfei".

The company finally agreed to remove some content from serving up in the search results on google.cn to adhere to local law and continue operating in China. At just over 750 million internet users, China itself is almost as valuable as all of Europe. The censorship will apply across the platform: Google's image search, automatic spell check and suggested search features will incorporate the blacklists, meaning that they will not recommend people information or photographs the government has banned. To recall, Google's search engine can not be accessed normally in China, considering it has been blocked by the country's "Great Firewall". "It will set a bad precedent for many other companies who are still trying to do business in China while maintaining the principles of not succumbing to China's censorship".

At the moment, references to The Intercept's article and the development of the search engine are being promptly expunged from Weibo, another fact that does not appear to bode well for Google's chances.

"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.

China has in the past two years imposed increasingly strict rules on foreign companies, including new censorship restrictions.

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