Google (GOOGL) is in the early development stage on the censored China search engine as confirmed by executive chief Sundar Pichai at a summit. Various setbacks seem to not have dragged the CEO’s confidence in returning to China, which remains a lucrative prospective market with a large customer base.
The censored engine codenamed Dragonfly is said to remove the websites banned by the country’s infamous firewall from the results page. After eight years, Google has considered this important that it set aside the protest for censorship laws and alleged government hacks as unimportant.
The project has been criticized by both the company’s employees and external groups as it was against Google’s core values. A letter raising concerns against the project was signed by thousands of Google employees, who demanded better clarity on the China issue. The top management later clarified that the company was merely exploring the options that are available.
On Monday, Pichai told on stage at the Wired 25 Summit that the development of the censored search engine has been very promising with over 99% of the queries could be served. The company is attracted to 20% of the world’s population.
The CEO has re-evaluated the pull out as China has been considered as a wonderful and innovative market. Pichai said the company has recognized the importance of the market and the users in China. Google felt compelled to think hard about the problem and take a long-term stance.
Experts fear that this news could rekindle the criticism from President Donald Trump. Earlier, in late August, the POTUS slammed Google stating that “good news” and conservative voices are being suppressed in the Search results page and “bad” stories are scrolled up when searching for “Trump news”.
After the employees protest over a drone project named Project Maven, Google has opted out of the drone contract with the US Department of Defense (DoD). Also, the company turned down an offer to compete for the $10-billion cloud-computing contracts of the Pentagon due to the conflict of its corporate values.
The drone contract involved providing machine-learning capabilities to the military for assessing footages from drones in order to take decisions related to surveillance and national security. The employees believed the technology could also be used in unethical ways such as targeted elimination. The company intended to end this after completing existing commitments by early next year.