Google Pulls Plug on China Search Project
The Intercept recently reported that Google had been forced to suspend its censored Chinese search engine, with the search giant saying that it had no immediate plans of launching such a product.
The project, codenamed “Dragonfly”, began in the spring of 2017 and got accelerated in December after Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s meeting with a Chinese government official. In fact, an Android app with versions called Maotai and Longfei had already been developed and could have been launched within nine months upon the approval of the Chinese government.
It is said that Google engineers had to put together a list of thousands of banned websites which included the BBC and Wikipedia, which could then be purged from the censored search engine. However, Google’s privacy team confronted Dragonfly project managers for keeping the system secret from them. This led to the revocation of Google engineers access to data used to develop Dragonfly, which has since had severe consequences for the project.