Whistleblower reveals Google plans for censored search in China

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The company had to pull its services back in 2010.

"Google claims to value freedom and one hopes Google will put its corporate principles and America first, ahead of Chinese cash", he added. The plans for a new search engine include Android apps that would allow users to search Google without being exposed to information that the government deems unacceptable.

The company made a decision to quicken the development of a censored search service after Pichai met with top government official Wang Huning in December 2017, the Intercept reported.

The app, which has been called Maotai and Longfei at different stages in development, has been demonstrated to Chinese officials, and could release in the next six to nine months.

"Google has been working on the app since a year ago and had been meeting with Chinese regulators to discuss the project", said the report, citing sources.

How would the engine work?

The app would censor search queries and results in compliance with China's Golden Shield Project, better known in the West at the Great Firewall of China.

What has been the reaction inside Google?

Google has been making a series of strategic investments into Chinese businesses as a way to indirectly gain access to one of the world's largest markets, but now may be taking a more direct approach.

Spokesman Taj Meadows told AFP: "We don't comment on speculation about future plans".

The worker, who declined to be named, said that he had seen slides on the effort and that many executives at the vice president level were aware of it.

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"There's a lot of angst internally".

In response, Baidu Founder Robin Li said "We always hold a very high standard on our content for newsfeed".

But some believe such a move should not be a surprise.

But the Chinese government could nonetheless use Google as a chip in its negotiations with the American government, which has been critical of the way China limits market access for U.S. technology companies. "Google is for everyone", he said.

Based on fears that it could be eventually approved, the stock of Baidu, the company that filled Google's search engine void when it left China in 2010, plunged 7.7 percent, according to TechNode.

Google had cried foul over what it said were cyberattacks aimed at its source code and the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Not a great deal. CEO of Google Sunday Pichai is said to have already met with Chinese officials and the plans are now pending approval from mainland authorities.

China is the largest internet market in the world, and for that reason, it's almost impossible to resist the financial lure of the country - even with the moral and ethical compromises doing business there requires. Google insiders don't know if China will approve the app amid an escalating trade dispute with the USA, but Search head Ben Gomes told staff last month to be ready to launch on short notice.

There were an estimated 772 million internet users in China as of the end of past year, with internet availability sitting at only 55.8 percent of the population.

It also invested in Chinese live-stream game platform Chushou in January and has launched an artificial intelligence game on the social media app WeChat. -China trade war - which increasingly centers on technological competition - and that an office in eastern China set up by Facebook was swiftly shut down by central government authorities on July 25. For example, the country blocks information on the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. References to political opposition, dissidents and anti-communist activity are also banned as are those of free speech and sex. And some Google (googl) employees are reportedly not wild about this new push.

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