Project Dragonfly is Google’s censored search engine for China

Google is embracing evil

Most internet users in China can not now access Google Search.

Some of Google's own employees were reportedly not happy about the prospect of offering a censored search to appease China's government.

Around eight years ago, Google had withdrawn from the Chinese market to protest against the censorship in the country.

Google is working on a censored version of its search engine in China, which will restrict content related to human rights, democracy, and religion, insiders tell The Intercept.

Through the looking glass: Google has had several run-ins with the Chinese government and is finally caving to demands for a heavily restricted search engine.

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In addition to censoring sites such as the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Wikipedia, the Chinese authorities also censor mentions of books that portray governments like China's in a poor light, such as 1984 and Animal Farm.

The hush-hush project is code-named "Dragonfly" and has been underway since the spring of 2017, according to The Intercept, which first reported the story, citing internal Google documents and sources familiar with the plans. Google has been making a series of strategic investments into Chinese businesses as a way to indirectly gain access to one of the world's largest markets, but now may be taking a more direct approach.

A security guard keeps watch as he walks past a logo of Google in Shanghai, China, April 21, 2016.

"We reminded users in China every single day that they are looking at filtered results", said Tian, who worked at Google when the search engine launched.

The company chose to quicken the development of a censored search service after Pichai met with top government official Wang Huning in December 2017, the Intercept reported. This stripped down version of Google Search is being made for the Chinese market. It is now expected that Google will launch in China within the next nine months if the Chinese government allows it. In addition, The Information reported that Google is developing a compliant Chinese news aggregation app as well.

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Dubbed as Project Dragonfly, it has been in the works since spring of previous year.

While going to Google to search for virtually anything is a common practice for many of us, the same isn't true for people in China.

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. Google's stated values make this clear: Every one of our users is trusting us.

China has in the past two years imposed increasingly strict rules on foreign companies, including new censorship restrictions. Then in 2010, Google reversed its decision and began redirecting all google.cn users to its unfiltered Chinese search engine in Hong Kong.

Google's re-entry into China will see it compete with Baidu, which now has nearly 70 per cent of the domestic search market, according to data by StatCounter Global Stats.

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