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Google Declines To Confrim Reports On It’s Chinese Version

Search terms regarding democracy, human rights and peaceful protests will be among those blacklisted in the new search engine app.

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Google storing location data has strong potential for abuse: Experts
Google storing location data has strong potential for abuse: Experts. Pixabay
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Google declined on Wednesday to confirm reports that it plans to launch a censored version of its search engine in China, where its main search platform was previously blocked, along with its YouTube video platform.

“We provide a number of mobile apps in China … [to] help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like JD.com. But we don’t comment on speculation about future plans,” a Google spokesperson told VOA in a statement.

The first report on the possible rollout came from The Intercept, and online news publication, which cited internal Google documents and people familiar with the purported plan.

The Intercept said the project, code-named Dragonfly, has been in development since last year. It said the project began to progress more quickly following a December meeting between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and a senior Chinese government official.

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The project began to progress Quickly After a meeting between Google CEO Sundar Pichai and a senior Chinese government official. VOA

Search terms regarding democracy, human rights and peaceful protests will be among those blacklisted in the new search engine app, the report said. It added the search engine had already been demonstrated to Chinese government officials.

The report said a final version could be introduced within six to nine months, pending approval of Chinese officials.

China’s top internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China, has not commented on the reported plans.

Also Read: Facebook To Build ‘Innovation Hub’ In China

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican and former U.S. presidential candidate, posted on Twitter that Google should be given the “benefit of the doubt” but that the reported plans were still “very disturbing.” (VOA)

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Google Planning to Introduce Smart Speakers with Display

Other technology players, including JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony have also signed up to make screen-equipped smart speakers

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Google preparing to launch display-equipped smart speakers. Pixabay

Google is reportedly preparing to launch a display-equipped smart speaker in a direct competition with Amazon and Alibaba Group Holding in the voice-activated gadgets category.

“Google targets to ship some three million units for the first batch of the new model of smart speaker that comes with a screen. It’s an aggressive plan,” Nikkei Asian Review quoted an industry source as saying on Thursday.

The new product would be part of the Google Home range of smart speakers, running on Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Google Assistant, similar to Amazon’s “Echo Show”, which is a pair of two-inch speakers with a 7-inch touchscreen that displays visual output for Alexa’s responses.

Google’s upcoming model with the display is still likely to rely on voice commands, but users should be able to play YouTube videos, check their calendars and view maps, the report added.

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Other technology players, including JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony have also signed up to make screen-equipped smart speakers. Pixabay

The Android developer’s AI speaker lineup currently features the standard Google Home, the cost-effective Home Mini and the high-end Home Max.

The first two options are positioned against Amazon’s regular Echo and Echo Dot, while the top-of-the-line model competes with Apple’s HomePod, which comes with the Siri voice assistant.

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The search engine giant accounted for 36 per cent of over 9 million smart speakers units shipped in the January-March period of 2018 with Amazon acquiring a 28 per cent market share.

Other technology players, including JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony have also signed up to make screen-equipped smart speakers. (IANS)

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