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Google’s Censored Search Engine For China A ‘Stupid Move’ Says Ex-Employee

The tech 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

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Google preparing to launch display-equipped smart speakers. Pixabay
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Google’s reported plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China has come under heavy criticism from a former Asia-Pacific head of the company’s free expression issues who called it a “stupid move”.

“This is just a really bad idea, a stupid, stupid move. I feel compelled to speak out and say that this is not right,” The Intercept quoted Lokman Tsui as saying on Friday.

Tsui was Google’s head of free expression for Asia and the Pacific between 2011 and 2014.

The news about Google’s plan to build a censored search engine broke last week.

Codenamed “Dragonfly”, the search platform would blacklist “sensitive queries” about topics including politics, free speech, democracy, human rights and peaceful protest, according to a previous report by The Intercept.

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Google is yet to officially confirm or deny the search engine project. Pixabay

“I can’t see a way to operate Google search in China without violating widely held international human rights standards,” the report quoted Tsui as saying.

Google is yet to officially confirm or deny the search engine project.

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Tsui said that if Google goes ahead with the censored search engine project, it would go against its publicly stated ethos.

The tech 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)

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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)