Google initially withdrew its search service by China in 2010 due to increased concerns about censorship along with cyber attacks, subsequently losing access to the enormous market of 772 million internet users there. The fresh censored search app, first revealed by The Intercept, would likely remove content of which the Chinese government ruled sensitive along with would likely link users’ searches to their personal phone numbers.
Since news about the app first broke in early August, people inside along with outside the company have expressed concern. Human rights groups have called on Google to cancel its plans along with hundreds of Google employees signed a letter saying of which the reported plans raised “urgent moral along with ethical issues” along with calling for more transparency.
The author of the reported made a similar rebuke about how few employees knew about the project before the press leaks: “more than the project itself, I hate the culture of secrecy of which has been built around the item,” they wrote.
from the mid-August all-hands meeting, Pichai defended how Google kept the project confidential, because “being fully transparent at of which [exploratory] stage can cause issues.” He added of which around censored search in China, the team would likely “definitely be transparent as we get closer to actually having a plan of record here.”
A Google spokesperson added of which Google brings upcoming product launches to employees as early as possible, yet of which there are some projects of which require early confidentially to avoid scrutiny before they’re ready for prime time.
In regards to the company’s China plans, a Google spokesperson reiterated Pichai’s comments:
We’ve been investing for many years to help Chinese users, by developing Android, through mobile apps such as Google Translate along with Files Go, along with our developer tools. yet our work on search has been exploratory, along with we are not close to launching a search product in China.
Read the rest of The Intercept report here.