Google had a major scandal on its hands when reports came out stating that Google would be restarting its service in China. Its previous presence in the country was abandoned due to China’s rigid censorship policies. They have only become stricter with time. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, stated that it had abandoned all such plans. However, it is still unknown if such plans are still lurking in the background. Pichai told CNN that Google wasn’t currently creating a Chinese version of its search engine. However, he did state that he couldn’t ignore its massive population. While he had no immediate plans, they would find new ways to serve Chinese customers, he said.
Pichai stated that Google was all for sticking to international regulations and laws. Although China was not a follower of open and free Internet in the hands of everyone, Google would continue to reach out to more users as part of inclusive conversations.
Google would require certain conditions to be present in China before it returns back to the country. An Internet without censorship would be the first big condition. However, more details haven’t been shared. Pichai stated that he wouldn’t indulge in speculation over a mere hypothetical scenario. He stated that no plans were on at the moment and that the company wasn’t spending resources on it.
Tech companies have always wanted to tap into China’s astronomical user base along with its online shopping marketplace. However, increasing control by CPC and repeated abuses of human rights regarding free information and free speech have companies tied up as they consider ethical issues. Muslim minorities like Kyrgyzs, Kazakhs and Uyghurs numbering over 2 million have been detained so far. Pichai was also asked about Gen. Dunford’s comment that Google’s presence in China had a benefit for US military.
Google had cleared out misunderstandings regarding that, stated Pichai. He stated that TensorFlow was the company’s only activity in China. Google also had nonprofit activities going on in China, stated Pichai.