No, Google is not returning to China, censored or otherwise

Google China

Google China

Back in 2006, Google unfortunately made a decision to give into pressure from the Chinese government, and agreed to launch a censored version of its site in China. The report cited internal Google documents and unnamed people familiar with the plans. A few hundred people at Google know about this project, including CEO Sundar Pichai who met the Chinese officials in December 2017.

Two custom Android apps have already been created and demonstrated to the Chinese government under names Maotai and Longfei.

China employs a digital censorship system known as the "Great Firewall of China" that prevents citizens from accessing websites such as Google and Facebook, it would appear that Google's new search engine will comply with strict Chinese censorship laws in order to operate within the country.

The initiative would represent the first time in nearly a decade that Google has operated its search engine in the country, whose Great Firewall now blocks its service.

One worker who spoke to Reuters said he had transferred himself out of his unit to avoid being involved in the project. He said he had transferred out of his unit to avoid being involved.

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It is easy to dismiss any argument about Project Dragonfly by invoking the slippery slope fallacy card, but in this case, the consequences could be much worse than imagined. Google did not respond to a request for comment.

A day earlier, the search giant also declined to comment on specifics mentioned in The Intercept report, but noted that it has launched a number of mobile apps in China and works with local developers as part of maintaining its domestic presence.

At the beginning of 2006, Google launched a search engine in China that censored results returned regarding human rights, Tibet and other topics sensitive to Beijing. Baidu shares fell 7.7% on Wednesday, despite posting better than expected quarterly results. "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".

When you search for Liu's name, or his wife's name on the Chinese internet, all you get to see are bits and pieces of news and heavily critical editorials on how Liu's victimhood was misused by the West to demonise the Communist government. "Google is for everyone", he said. In 2014 and 2015, Google developed a version of its Play app store that only included apps and services approved by the Chinese government, but that hasn't launched.

Although China's internet penetration is just over 50 per cent, its sheer scale means that there are three times the number of smartphone users and 11 times the number of mobile payment users in China than in the USA, according to the report.

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