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Google Closes its Controversial Chinese Search Engine Project

Senior Google employees have also resigned citing lack of corporate transparency after the company revealed its efforts to re-enter China through “Dragonfly”

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

Google’s controversial China search engine project, named Dragonfly, has been terminated and employees working on it have been reportedly reassigned.

The controversial Chinese search engine previously in development by Google that raised privacy, censorship, and human rights concerns is finally, officially, no more, mashable.com on Tuesday quoted Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of global government affairs and public policy, as saying.

Responding to questions from Republican Senator Josh Hawley, the top Google executive said: “We have terminated Project Dragonfly.”

This unequivocal response is a departure from previous couched statements by Google executives regarding Dragonfly’s status. For example, in December, chief executive Sundar Pichai told Congress that “right now there are no plans for us to launch a search product in China”, the report added.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Meanwhile, the tech giant’s offices in the US, UK, Canada, India, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark have witnessed protests by human rights groups over its plan to re-enter China through the censored search application.

Also Read: Instagram to Expand its ‘Hide Like Count’ Feature to Six More Countries

Senior Google employees have also resigned citing lack of corporate transparency after the company revealed its efforts to re-enter China through “Dragonfly”.

The search engine giant had launched a search engine in China in 2006 but pulled the service out of the country in 2010, citing Chinese government efforts to limit free speech and block websites. (IANS)

Next Story

Google Removes 27 Apps that Guided Users to Fake Play Store

These apps were published by the same developer with the name “AFAD Drift Racer” and all the apps belonged to free car racing games category, Quick Heal said

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

Google has removed 27 apps that prompted users to install a fake Play Store after researchers from Pune-based Quick Heal Technologies spotted these malicious apps of dropper category and reported the issue.

These apps were designed to infect devices with adware after someone fell prey to their continuous installation prompts for fake “Google Play Store”, Quick Heal Security Lab said.

The apps stated that users need to install Google Play Store for gaming purposes. If someone cancelled the installation prompt, then it showed the pop-up continuously until installation of the app.

On executing the parent app, it launched a dropped app.

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Previously, if users were not signed into their Google accounts, pre-installed apps on their devices, including the Play Store, were cut off from updates. Pixabay

The fake “Google Play Store” remained in the device even after its parent app was uninstalled and kept on displaying full screen ads at random time intervals.

The app kept running in the background and showed full screen ads till one did not uninstall it manually.

Also Read: Huawei to Launch First Commercial AI Chip Soon

These apps were published by the same developer with the name “AFAD Drift Racer” and all the apps belonged to free car racing games category, Quick Heal said.

To avoid installing fake mobile apps, users should check an app’s description before downloading and avoid downloading apps from third-party app stores. Using a reliable mobile antivirus may also help prevent fake and malicious apps from getting installed on one’s phone. (IANS)