One of the largest and fastest-growing Internet audiences in the world, China is tempting for US technology companies such as Google and Facebook, which have been making overtures to Beijing.
Google is planning to relaunch a search service in mainland China, complete with government censorship, according to The Intercept.
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.
In the company’s first go-around in China, Google decried government attempts to “limit free speech on the web” in shutting down its original search engine in China, where citizens are blocked from accessing many sites. (The state-owned China Securities Daily denies the report, per the Guardian.) But “in putting profits before human rights, Google would be setting a chilling precedent” with what Amnesty International sees as “a gross attack on freedom of information and internet freedom”, reports the Guardian. It would automatically block websites blacklisted by Beijing as well as search terms on human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept said.
It’s good that Google’s famous “Don’t be evil” motto isn’t an official motto anymore, because Google is about to do a bunch of evil in the near future if a whistleblower is to be believed.
Google’s Android already has the largest market share of any operating system in China, now accounting for roughly 51 percent of all devices.
The Chinese government, meanwhile, has denied its reports of draconian censorship to a certain degree. This app, a modified search engine, will block or censor sites like Wikipedia and Twitter, and news sites like The New York Times, or the BBC. Work ramped up after Google CEO Sundar Pichai traveled to China to meet with Wang Huning, a top official in China’s ruling party.
It said an Android app with versions called Maotai and Longfei had been developed and could be launched within nine months if Chinese government approval was won.
Google is said to have created a custom Android app that has already been demonstrated to the Chinese government.
The company finally agreed to remove some content from serving up in the search results on google.cn to adhere to local law and continue operating in China. The source stated that they feared “what is done in China will become a template for many other nations”.
The project is code named “Dragonfly” and has been underway since the spring of 2017, the news website said.
The platform will “blacklist sensitive queries”, the report claimed, preventing access to websites now blocked by the so-called Great Firewall.
Search engines – one of the most important things in the world in this day and age – thus, serve no objective in China.
China has in the past two years imposed increasingly strict rules on foreign companies, including new censorship restrictions.
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. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.