Google CEO defends China search project - Mobile World Live

Google CEO defends China search project

17 AUG 2018

Google chief Sundar Pichai told staff the company is still exploring a potential re-entry to China with a mobile search app, but added it is not close to launching the product, Bloomberg reported.

Co-founder Sergey Brin also insisted the search giant isn’t compromising its principles. The executives were responding to concerns expressed in a letter signed by about 1,000 employees.

Reports surfaced in early August the company is working on an Android search app for China, code-named Dragonfly, which would see the company complying with China’s censorship laws by automatically removing websites blocked by the government from search results.

Work on the app has reportedly been underway for more than a year, with a preliminary version already demonstrated to Chinese officials.

In their letter, Google staff said the Dragonfly project raised “urgent moral and ethical issues”. Employees demanded transparency, stating “we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work”, Bloomberg reported.

The Verge reported Pichai as saying: “Our stated mission is to organise the world’s information. China is one-fifth of the world’s population. I think if we were to do our mission well, we have to think seriously about how we do more in China. I genuinely do believe we have a positive impact when we engage around the world, and I don’t see any reason why that would be different in China.”

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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