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The Intercept: Google plans censored search in China; Baidu -7

04 August, 2018, 22:25 | Author: Ron Miles
  • The Intercept: Google plans censored search in China; Baidu -7

"It is impossible to see how such a move is compatible with Google's "Do the right thing" motto, and we are calling on the company to change course", Poon added.

Google is reportedly planning to re-launch its search engine in China, complete with censored results to meet the demands of the Chinese government.

The search project - which works like a filter that sorts out certain topics - can be tested within the company's internal networks, the source said.

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The tech giant had already come under fire this year from thousands of employees who signed a petition against a US$10 million contract with the U.S. military, which was not renewed. "Some people are very mad we´re doing it", the source said. The official, who declined to be named, said the project does not now have approval from authorities and that it is "very unlikely" such a project would be made available this year.

Google has not offered search services in China since it exited the country in 2010.

Google was harshly criticized both inside and outside the company for going along with Beijing's restrictions on Internet access, dubbed the "Great Firewall of China", when it entered the Chinese market in 2006. It would automatically block websites blacklisted by Beijing as well as search terms on human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept said. "In putting profits before human rights, Google would be setting a chilling precedent and handing the Chinese government a victory", Poon said.

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Twitter, Facebook and The New York Times website are blocked in China. Google is said to have developed an Android app to launch the search engine in China again.

But the company still employs 700 people in China working on other projects. In March 2010 Google announced it would no longer censor Google Search, Google News, and Google Images on Google.cn, a practice it had followed since 2000.

Although there is little sign of authoritarianism receding following President Xi Jinping consolidating power, the number of internet users in the country has risen sharply and China's version of Google, Baidu, which has annual revenues of billions of pounds.

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Sources with knowledge of the project told The Intercept that development of Dragonfly sped up after Google CEO Sundar Pichai met with a high-level Chinese government official last December.

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