Google is reportedly planning to re-launch its search engine in China, complete with censored results to meet the demands of the Chinese government. The company originally shut down its Chinese search engine in 2010, citing government attempts to “limit free speech on the web”. But according to a report from The Intercept, the US tech giant now wants to return to the world’s biggest single market for internet users.
According to internal documents provided to The Intercept by a whistleblower, Google has been developing a censored version of its search engine under the codename Dragonfly since the beginning of 2017. The search engine is being built as an Android mobile app, and will reportedly “blacklist sensitive queries” and filter out all websites blocked by China’s web censors (including Wikipedia and BBC News). The censorship will extend to Google’s image search, spell check, and suggested search features.
In the same vein as before, Google cares about freedom of expression and providing access to information. Unless you’re Chinese – then you’re shit out of luck.