Published: Sat, August 04, 2018
Tech | By Tabitha Holland

Google may launch censored and sanitised search engine for China

Google may launch censored and sanitised search engine for China

"It will be a dark day for internet freedom if Google has acquiesced to China´s extreme censorship rules to gain market access", Patrick Poon, a China researcher for Amnesty, said in a statement.

Google is reportedly planning to re-launch its search engine in China, complete with censored results to meet the demands of the Chinese government. In other words, topics or websites banned in China will not be accessible through Google's Dragonfly search engine.

The Intercept claims to have seen documents marked "Google confidential" which detail the filtering in the Chinese version of the search app.


The app will automatically identify and filter websites blocked by China's so-called Great Firewall, which allows the government to monitor and censor Chinese citizens' internet use.

Only a few hundred Google employees know about the modified search engine, according to The Intercept's sources. Early versions of the custom Android app were named "Maotai" and "Longfei".

Knowledge of the Chinese search engine has been limited to just a few hundred of Google's 88,000 staff, following internal protests about the company's work with the Pentagon's surveillance drones programme.


In December past year, Google announced that it would open a new artificial intelligence research center in Beijing. In a congressional hearing that year on the activities of US technology companies in China, Google was called a "functionary of the Chinese government". Google was also taking heat from the U.S. Congress for complying with the Chinese government's policies. Google is for everyone.

Some further information received from the insider sources reveals that the project for the censored version of Google search is being dubbed as Dragonfly. Reports of its possible re-entry spurred a strong reaction on Chinese social media outlets on Wednesday evening, including debates over the merits of a censored search engine versus accessing the United States version through illegal virtual private networks.

According to The Intercept, "The source said that they had moral and ethical concerns about Google's role in the censorship, which is being planned by a handful of top executives and managers at the company with no public scrutiny".


"We provide a number of mobile apps in China, such as Google Translate and Files Go, help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like JD.com".

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