If you take a look at Google’s global disruption map, China is among the handful number of red-colored countries that don’t allow its services.
It has been hard for Google to make any cracks in the Great Firewall which stands rigidly in front of any internet traffic that the Chinese government doesn’t like. The company had to pull its services back in 2010.
Hopefully, that might change in the coming future as the search giant is working on a “censored” version of Google Search, according to the leaked documents seen by The Intercept.
Dubbed Dragonfly, the specialized search engine could launch as a part of a joint venture with an unnamed local company.
It came on Google’s table in the spring of last year. A few hundred people at Google know about this project, including CEO Sundar Pichai who met the Chinese officials in December 2017.
The initial plans to roll out the search service is through an Android app developed by Google; it’s known by the names “Longfei” and “Maotai.” If approved by the government officials, the app could launch in the next 6 to 9 months.
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As per the report, Google’s search app would automatically “identify and filter” all the content blocked by China’s firewall. Dragonfly would block sensitive search queries related to democracy, religion, peaceful protest, and humans rights.
It would also blacklist famous Western social media sites including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. and American news outlets like the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal that have been blocked by the Chinese government.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment on their plans for the future.
If the rumor turns out to be true, it would add to the list of Google’s efforts to increase its presence on the Chinese soil. Like, plans to re-launch a China-optimised version of Google Play. A couple of Google Products are allowed in the nation including Google Translate and Files Go.
Afterall, how can a company turn a blind eye to the 700 million internet users living in China and the potential revenue loss by not able to make money out of their pockets?