Last year it was reported that Google was working on a special/customized version of its search engine designed specifically for the Chinese market. It would be a search engine that would censor certain topics in line with the Chinese government’s regulations. Given how big China’s market is, it wasn’t really a surprise to see Google want to make their way back in.
However Google later refuted those claims, stating that they had no plans to launch a search engine in China, but it looks like the previous denial didn’t seem to take. In a new report from The Intercept, apparently Google could be working on the search engine again. This is allegedly based on the investigation conducted by Google’s own employees who have alleged found some proof that development remains ongoing, despite Google’s previous claims.
However some have suggested that evidence of work still being done could simply be employees who are wrapping up what they were previously working on, and not necessarily indicate that work could still be ongoing. One anonymous source told The Intercept, “I still believe the project is dead, but we’re still waiting for a declaration from Google that censorship is unacceptable and that they will not collaborate with governments in the oppression of their people.”
That being said, on the public front Google has since issued a new statement refuting The Intercept’s report. “This speculation is inaccurate. As we’ve said for many months, we have no plans to launch Search in China and there is no work being undertaken on such a project. Team members have moved to new projects.”
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