American-India CEO of Google Sundar Pichai officially announced that there are no plans for them to launch a search product in China as of now.
“Right now, there are no plans for us to launch a search product in China. We are in general always looking to see how best it’s part of our core mission and our principle is to try hard to provide users with information. We always have evidence based on every country we operate in us reaching out and giving users to more information has a very positive impact and we feel that calling,” Pichai said.
“But right now, there are no plans to launch in China. To the extent that we ever approach a decision like that I will be fully transparent including with policymakers here and engage and consult widely,” he said.
Any time Google looks to operate in a country it would look at what the conditions are to operate.
“There are times in the past we have debated the conditions to operate and we explore a wide range of possibilities. Currently, it is an effort only internally for us. We are not doing this in China. And so you know but I am happy to consult back and be transparent if we plan something there,” he said.
Congressman David Cicilline said the operating environment in China has deteriorated with respect to surveillance censorship and the like since Google first made the decision in 2010 to leave.
In September, he had sent Pichai a letter along with 15 other colleagues raising serious concerns about reports that Google is planning to re-enter the Chinese market with an app-based search engine that would likely have to comply with strict censorship and surveillance requirements imposed by the Chinese government.
“Since then a widespread course of opposition to such a move has emerged including from lawmakers, leading human rights activists and a group of Google’s own employees. The environment has deteriorated,” Cicilline said.