Google tailoring mobile search engine app for China

Google China

Google may be launching Search for China. Nur

However, an employee at Google who is familiar with the search engine that is censored, confirmed that the project was genuine and moving forward.

The Intercept said the project, code-named Dragonfly, has been in development since a year ago.

It's unclear when, and if, the app will launch, but Google's search engine chief Ben Gomes told staff last month that they must be ready to launch it at short notice, if "suddenly the world changes or [President Donald Trump] decides his new best friend is Xi Jinping".

According to a report by The New York Times, Google engineers are working on an app that would filter out content identified by the Chinese government. 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.

Patrick Poon, a China researcher at Amnesty International, said the move puts money before human rights: "It will be a dark day for internet freedom if Google has acquiesced to China's extreme censorship rules to gain market access".

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

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A Google spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the company "does not comment on speculation about future plans".

First published August 1 at 8:25 a.m. PT. Update, 12:45 p.m.: Adds more information. These may include phrases such as "human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest". Google has demonstrated the app to officials from the Chinese government, according to The Intercept and the Times.

According to confidential internal documents obtained by The Intercept, Google's Chinese search engine-code-named Dragonfly-has been in development since last spring. He has said his experience with a repressive regime shaped his and the company's views. In a way that Chinese internet users are already accustomed to when using WeChat and Sina Weibo, a search for a banned website on this app would yield results with a note that some "may have been removed due to statutory requirements".

Still, critics complained that Google was breaching its own company motto: "Don't Be Evil".

The main reason Google took its business out of China was that they believed in free speech and freedom of expression. "I'm committed to engaging more in China", he said. Steps in recent years like removing VPN apps from the App store, blocking social media applications such as WhatsApp and Instagram, and restricting access to the ZeroNet website provide evidence as to why the combination of internet censorship regulations in the country is derisively dubbed "The Great Firewall of China". From 2006 to 2010, the company was active in the country, but it came under fire for being an "accomplice" to China's strict censorship laws.

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