Pinchai did not confirm yet that the search engine would actually be deployed in China, but instead said so far Project Dragonfly has only been an internal project.
The project's existence was previously disclosed through leaks that sparked a firestorm inside and outside the company, with employees outraged at the ethical implications-Google (googl) pulled out of China in 2010, largely due to censorship requirements-and the Trump White House urging the company to kill the scheme.
In an August 31 letter to U.S. senators, Pichai wrote: "We hope to stay at the forefront of technology developments and believe that Google's tools could help to facilitate an exchange of information and learning that would have broad benefits inside and outside China". How do you feel about Google indulging China's censorship?
Google Project Dragonfly is real after all.
He said one area where Google's presence could help in China would be for information on medical treatments including for cancer.
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"We deeply respect what they do to protect our country", Pichai said of the USA armed forces. In August Pichai said that plans to re-enter China with a search engine were "exploratory" and in the "early stages", according to Bloomberg. It would also require Chinese users to log in with their credentials before searches can be run, ensuring that the Communist Party can log and examine a comprehensive record of search activity.
However, reports in August are claiming that it had been secretively working on a new Chinese search service, referred to internally as Dragonfly. "It turns out we'll be able to serve well over 99 percent of the queries".
He said Google's absence in China - a country with 20% of the world's population - weighed heavily on the company, which has a mission to bring information "to everyone". Entering the Chinese market as a recognized and government approved service will undoubtedly be very beneficial for quarterly earnings calls.
And so it was that, two weeks after Vice President Mike Pence demanded that the company kill "Project Dragonfly", Google CEO Sundar Pichai decided that now would be a reasonable time to publicly acknowledge the project for the first time.
In any country that Google operates, it must balance its values - "providing users access to information, freedom of expression, and user privacy" - with obeying the local laws, he was quoted as saying by CNBC.The 46-year-old Pichai also played down the influence employee protests had over the company's decision making.