Google plans return to China search market with censored app

Google plans return to China search market with censored app

Google plans return to China search market with censored app

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.

Multiple media sources are reporting that Google is working on a search service for the Chinese market, specifically modified to meet the censorship demands of the country's governing Communist Party.

According to The Intercept: "Google's Chinese search app will automatically identify and filter websites blocked by the so-called Great Firewall of China".

From 2006-2010, Google operated in Chinese markets with a censored search engine, but was forced to change its policy, following a massive backlash in the US. The company also complained at the time of hacking attacks that appeared to come from China.

Google is working on a mobile search app that would block certain search terms and allow it to reenter China after exiting eight years ago due to censorship and hacking, according to USA media reports. Google's stated values make this clear: Every one of our users is trusting us. Google has demonstrated the app to officials from the Chinese government, according to The Intercept and the Times. Whether or not tech companies should enable censorship and the following oppression of a nation's people is open to debate.

Depending on when the Chinese government approves the "toned down" Google, the app could launch anytime in the next 6-9 months. The US technology giant said that it withdrew from the Chinese market in 2010 in protest of online censorship and hacking.

The Chinese official, who did not want to be named, said that the new project is not now approved by authorities and it was highly unlikely that such a project would be able to be up and operating during 2018.

Reports of Google's possible re-entry spurred a strong reaction on Chinese social media outlets on Wednesday evening, including debates over the merits of a censored search engine versus accessing the USA version through illegal virtual private networks.

Despite its main search engine and YouTube video platform being blocked, Google still has more than 700 employees and three offices in China, and has been developing alternative projects.

The search app would "blacklist sensitive queries", The Intercept says, identifying and filtering websites now blocked by China's so-called Great Firewall.

The company withdrew from providing search tools to the Chinese market in 2010, and its global search engine is blocked by the country's so-called "Great Firewall".

"This has very serious implications not just for China, but for all of us, for freedom of information and internet freedom". The slump in Baidu shares also reveals the fact that Baidu's dominance in the search engine market is still fragile even 8 years after Google's exit.

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