Citing leaked documents, The Intercept reports that Google plans to build a censored search engine for the Chinese market.
The project, code-named “Dragonfly,” has reportedly been in the oven since the spring of 2017, and accelerated in December after a meeting between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and a “top Chinese official.”
Why is this important?
Google pulled its search engine out of China nearly a decade ago because of the country’s strict censorship laws. Now, everyone and their mothers are looking for a piece of their massive market — reopening Google to the idea of doing China’s dirty work.
The Chinese government has reportedly seen Google’s Android prototype that will “blacklist websites and search terms regarding human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest.”
But does this necessarily mean China will return Google’s keys to the castle?
Or is Google too falling victim to one of China’s power plays?
Reports say that Google’s search engine could be finalized in 6 to 9 months, pending approvals, but as Axios notes, companies have wasted time and cash before trying to break through China’s steel curtain.
Just ask Zuckerberg — Last week we thought Facebook finally made it past the moat… until China pulled up the drawbridge last-minute yet again.
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