Baidu slumps on prospect Google plans comeback in China with censored app

Baidu slumps on prospect Google plans comeback in China with censored app

The prospect of Google returning to China is in line with the trend of several United States tech giants willing to tailor their products and services in order to gain access to the massive Chinese market. Yet it recalls Google's 2010 exit from China over the same government censorship its latest efforts would reportedly support.

Google had previously operated in China with a censored version of a search engine in 2006 to 2010, but pulled out of the country after facing political backlash in the US.

Google's current focus is reportedly on releasing their Android app in the country, researchers claim that 95 percent of China's population access the internet via mobile devices and Android dominates 80 percent of the Chinese mobile market making an Android app top priority for the company.

A Google spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the company "does not comment on speculation about future plans". China had banned the search queries for Oliver following the comedian made fun of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, on one of his shows.

Google's Android already has the largest market share of any operating system in China, now accounting for roughly 51 percent of all devices.

Last year, Apple removed hundreds of apps that allow users to avoid censorship from its download store in China at the request of the Beijing government. CEO of Google Sunday Pichai is said to have already met with Chinese officials and the plans are now pending approval from mainland authorities.

Report: Google's Plan to Launch Censored Search Engine in China Revealed

It said an Android app with versions called Maotai and Longfei had been developed and could be launched within nine months if Chinese government approval was won.

Separately, a Chinese official with knowledge of the plans said that Google has been in contact with authorities at the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) about a modified search program. It is unclear from the documents seen by The Intercept whether this first foray into heavily censored searching - via the mobile app - will be followed by a decision to censor the website itself.

The project is code-named "Dragonfly" and started in the spring of 2017, The Intercept reported. China is already censoring Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

As mentioned earlier the censorship will be applicable on all the extensions of Google search which will include images, keyword recommendations, spell check along with suggested searches.

China of course is widely considered to have one of the most repressive Internet censorship schemes in the world, which is created to prevent criticism of the ruling Communist Party and suppress dissent and other information deemed to be unsafe.

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? It will automatically block any websites or searches that are not approved under the Great Firewall. Unlike many online publications, we don't have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.

More news: Apple is first public company worth $1 trillion

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