In order to deliver this censored version of its search service, Google is working on a custom Android app which has had different internal names including Maotai and Longfei.
China blocks a large amount of information from their citizens such as political information, certain elements of Chinese history and other free speech related topics.
Google is set to launch a new version of its eponymous search engine created to conform with China's censorship rules.
Afterall, how can a company turn a blind eye to the 700 million internet users living in China and the potential revenue loss by not able to make money out of their pockets?
Google would be making a disgusting mistake by helping China's authoritarian government censor the internet and suppress dissent.
The project is a code named "Dragonfly" and has been underway since the spring of 2017, the news website said.
Quite interestingly, however, a Google worker told Reuters that he had himself transferred out of his unit in order to avoid any involvement with this project. Given the size of its audience, this represents a potential missed opportunity for Google's revenue and brand awareness. The relations between the tech giant and the Chinese government never really got better, and most Google services are still barred in China.
A source said that staff aware of the project had concerns about Google's role in censorship, planned by top executives without public scrutiny. The folks over at The Intercept also claim to have received access to documents titled "Google Confidential" that detail plans of Google's re-entry into the Chinese market after more than 8 years of exile. A final version of the app could be launched within six to nine months, it said.
In the company's absence, Baidu Inc. has strengthened its grip on search in China while Microsoft Corp.'s Bing operates in the country by censoring subjects and words.
Last year, Apple removed hundreds of apps that allow users to avoid censorship from its download store in China at the request of the Beijing government. For example, the country blocks information on the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
"There's a huge void, Google can fill that void", said Tian, who is now CEO of Asia Innovations.
California-based Google would also face stiff competition from China's Baidu - though stock in that company fell Wednesday on news of Google's possible return.
Google's main service is covered by China's "Great Firewall", which prevents access to non-compliant sites. "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".
The Intercept revealed some details about how the app might work.
- Garcia unifies lightweight titles with Easter victory
- YouTube’s dark mode is starting to reach Android users
- Bank of England raises Bank Rate to 0.75%
- Made in China - Trump re-election flags may get burnt by his tariffs
- Zec To Announce Results For Presidential Elections From 12:30pm
- Trial begins for Trump's former campaign chair, Paul Manafort
- No reason to believe remains returned by North Korea are not American
- Apple becomes first American public company to cross $1 trillion in value
- NASA revealed new images of Mars and Saturn
- Judge temporarily blocks download of 3D-printed plastic gun plans