Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) subsidiary Google has been facing flak for quite a while now on its plans to launch a censored search engine in China. The project has been criticized by both the company’s employees as well as external groups who claim that it goes against Google’s core values.
Thousands of Google employees were said to have signed a letter raising concerns against the project and have also demanding better clarity from the company to facilitate more ethical decision-making with regards to their work.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, along with other executives, had a meeting with employees on Thursday during which, questions regarding the China issue were addressed. The CEO tried to assuage the apprehensions of the employees by stating that Google was not in any hurry to launch a search engine in China and that the company was merely exploring the options available in front of it.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Google was in no hurry to launch a search engine in China and is merely exploring available options
Pichai added that there was no sufficient clarity with regards to the possibility of a successful launch in the country. However, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding Google’s China plans and not much was revealed at the meeting.
Several reports have come out on Google’s Chinese search engine. It was claimed that Google was planning to launch a censored version of its search product in China, complying with the country’s strict laws. It was also said that Google, which has always supported an open and free internet, was ready to bend its rules for China, a lucrative market with a large customer base. The company started to get a lot of criticism, including from its own employees.
This is not the first time Google employees have protested its projects on ethical grounds. Earlier in the year, employees came out in protest of Google’s collaboration with the Pentagon over a drone project named Project Maven.