Google closed the project of a Chinese search engine with censorship due to differences within the company
In October, news appeared on Habré that Google plans to launch a modified version of its search service here. The modification should have been censored - there are many prohibited topics in China, so their new project should have been blocked without showing “sedition” in search results.
Initially, journalists learned about this from decoding the protocol of a business meeting of Google employees, dedicated to creating a search engine with censorship. Then it became known that "Chinese Google" should start work within 6-9 months.
The corporation decided to go against its own principles - information for everyone and everyone, because the prospects for working in China are more than impressive. The market is simply huge, despite the need to compete with local services, which means you can get a significant profit.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the same month that the corporation is trying to establish long-term relations with China, so he sees nothing wrong with launching the service. He received the code name Project it. “This is a wonderful, innovative market. We want to understand what we can do in China, so we started from the inside, ”said Pichai.
The head of the company said that the new search service could provide users with information on 99% of the queries they sent. Moreover, Pichay said that in many respects Google is better than local search services.
Nevertheless, company employees opposed this project - not all, but many. In November, a Medium Google Employees Against Dragonfly account appeared on Medium (Google employees vs. Dragonfly). An open letter was published in this blog, which called not to develop a specialized service for China.
Representatives of Google, in particular, stated that by meeting the demands of the Chinese authorities, the corporation thereby expressed support for the infringement of human rights. Many employees disagree with China’s strategy to improve and expand its methods of population control through technology and personal data collection.
Now it became known that the corporation had to close the project under the pressure of thousands of its employees. It seems that this may affect all further attempts by the corporation to stay in China. The problem is that Google services are blocked in this country, and even their corporation applications have to be placed in third-party markets, in the hope that Chinese users will download them and work.
It is worth noting that the Dragonflydid not appear suddenly . It was developed by an entire team that used Chinese web resource databases to customize the Google project filter.
By the way, the company has in China a kind of outpost. This site is 265.com, which is positioned as the most visited Internet resource in China. The corporation acquired this site in 2008, and since then has used it to provide information about markets, news and various events to the Chinese. There is a search on the page, but this is not Google’s search engine, but Baidu, a Chinese service. Requests from 265.com users were redirected to Baidu. This year, Google began to collect inquiries entered on the site, to form a strategy for the work of Dragonfly. Based on this data, a prototype of the “Chinese Google” was built.
High-ranking employees of the company said that the work on the project was carried out under strict secrecy, which is unusual for the company. In addition, the relationship in the team that worked on the Dragonfly project was much more strict in terms of “boss-subordinate” than is customary in the company. All this led to the fact that contradictions arose within the company, and work on the project was frozen. In particular, some important project meetings have been canceled. As far as can be judged, from Dragonfly decided to abandon.
Last week, Pichai, speaking before the US Congress, said that there were no plans to launch a search service company in China. True, he did not say anything about future plans, so the likelihood of resuming work on Dragonfly still remains, though not too high.