Leaked document shows Google's plans for its censored search engine in China

Report: Google's Plan to Launch Censored Search Engine in China Revealed

Google has had its search engine withdrawn from China eight years ago due to censorship issues but it seems like the relationship between Google and China has not gone sour because of that.

The Chinese government-owned Securities Times said the reports of Google re-entering the Chinese market were false, according to "relevant departments", Reuters reported.

More than 200 employees at Google are working on the new censored search engine.

So far, neither Google or the Chinese government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs have made any official statement concerning the story.

The Chinese government now blocks information on topics such as free speech, sex, political opponents, news, academic studies, and controversial events in history, as per a report by The Intercept. Pichai has publicly stated he was eager for Google to start operating in China. "How enabling mass politically-directed censorship of (AI-enabled) search isn't a violation of Article 19 & in turn a violation of Google's pledge not to build tech that "contravenes widely accepted principles of.human rights" is a mystery indeed".

"Huawei and ZTE are nothing more than extensions of the Chinese Communist Party", Cotton said in his announcement of the amendment.

Other analysts cited China's "long memory" of past criticism from Google executives, the Wall Street Journal says (paywall).

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According to The Intercept, the search app has already been demonstrated to the Chinese government and could be launched in as little as six months. For example, links to the BBC website and Wikipedia would be removed from the search results, The Intercept said.

Despite pulling its search engine in 2010, Google now has more than 700 employees in China, according to the Times.

The prospect of Google returning to China is in line with the trend of several U.S. tech giants willing to tailor their products and services in order to gain access to the massive Chinese market.

Currently, Google's search service can not be accessed in China, meaning that the company is missing out on quite a large ad market, something which this new project likely hopes to fix. Co-founder Sergey Brin specifically cited totalitarian governments when pulling the Chinese service, though the company had said in 2006 that "removing search results" was better than "providing no information", per CNN.

It could make sense for the tech giant to reintroduce its search engine in China, considering the country is now the biggest internet market in the world.

Google has not officially commented on The Intercept report. Google has also undergone changes as a company, with its new CEO Pichai leading the charge to once again get a foothold in the country. -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.

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