Sundar Pichai: Google now has no plans for Chinese search engine

Dec

11

2018

Google Director Sundar Pichai told the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives that Google has no plans at the moment to return to the Chinese market.

With that, the CEO left open the option that Google will again be active with a search engine in China in the future. In 2010, Google withdrew from China because of the censorship that Beijing imposes on the results. Back then, Google said that internet attacks from China on activists using GMail also played a role in that decision.

During his testimony before Congress, Pichai asked what has changed since then and whether Google’s core values ​​have changed, as the company is considering making a return to China. In addition to the comment that there are no plans for this, Pichai said that the company always looks at how it can provide users with information and that if any steps are taken to become active in China, they will be transparent. China is a potentially lucrative market for Google, with more than 800 million internet users.

Pichai previously said to his staff that there were no concrete plans to publish a search engine in Google, but internally Google is working on a censored search service called Project Dragonfly. This project led to strong criticism from Google employees, who pointed to the possible use of state surveillance and demanded that development be stopped. During the testimony, one of the spectators on duty held up a sign with the Google logo combined with the flag of China.

Google Pichai China

Pichai further admitted that YouTube can do more about the spread of conspiracy theories. Just like many other social media platforms, YouTube serves as an outlet for many people who spread fake news and lies and are successful with it. “We are constantly taking steps to deal with misinformation,” Pichai said. “We have clear policies and we have achieved a lot of progress in many areas, such as terrorism, the protection of children, and so on.”

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