Disappointing: Google Makes Plan To Return To China With Censored Search Engine

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Sources indicate that some Google employees have also claimed that the escalating trade war between the US and China means that approval for the finalization of this project won't necessarily be granted.

Censorship seems to be a way of life in China, as Baidu, the number one search engine in China, mentioned "censorship" during its second quarter 2018 earnings call on Tuesday when Alicia Yap, analyst at Citigroup Global Markets Asia, asked about "the recent operating environment for the overall newsfeed and advertising content censorship".

Although Google pulled its search engine out of China in 2010, the company has lately displayed more interest in regaining access to the world's largest internet population. Lastly, Google bowning down to the Chinese government is a huge win for the latter as it sets a precedent for smaller companies not to challenge censorship in China.

The Google project, codenamed Dragonfly, has been in development since Spring of 2017, and was accelerated in December 2017, following a meeting between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and top Chinese government officials.

The search tool would blacklist search terms and websites referencing human rights, democracy, religion and peaceful protest, according to documents seen by The Intercept.

Google is not commenting on "speculation about future plans". It's unclear if Google will get the green light from Chinese officials with the escalating trade dispute with the U.S. Last year, Google unveiled plans to open a research centre in China focused on artificial intelligence. The Chinese government is well known for blocking a plethora of content ranging from any material that is critical of Communism, any references to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, pornography and even George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm".

Since Google exited, Baidu has become the dominant search engine in China.

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The final step would be the launch of the search engine app according to The Intercept, although it did state that its release would depend on the Chinese government's final approval and the release could be in six to nine months. This would mark the company's return to both the country and the government's stringent censorship.

Google is also working on two mobile apps for search named Maotai and Longfei.

A Google spokeswoman told Business Insider that the company was already doing business with the Chinese.

"Google has been working on the app since past year and had been meeting with Chinese regulators to discuss the project", said the report, citing sources.

"This has very serious implications not just for China, but for all of us, for freedom of information and internet freedom", Poon said.

China is the largest internet market in the world, and for that reason, it's almost impossible to resist the financial lure of the country - even with the moral and ethical compromises doing business there requires. "We want to be in China serving Chinese users".

Blacklisted information will automatically be removed before the user is served up the results of their search.