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Sundar Pichai Clears Google’s China Centric Plans

Google had launched a search engine in China in 2006 but pulled the plug in 2010

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Pichai's ability to effectively lead the company, down from 92 per cent "positive" the year before, according to Google's latest annual survey on employee satisfaction, the WIRED reported on Saturday.  . VOA

 Google CEO Sundar Pichai has for the first time gone public about his company’s China-centric plans and has stressed on its need to re-enter the Asian nation that has the world’s largest population, a media report said.

Pichai was speaking on Monday at Wired Magazine’s 25th anniversary summit here in the US.

Since China is an important market, Google is developing a censored search-engine for Beijing codenamed “Dragonfly” that would filter content deemed sensitive by its ruling Communist Party regime.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif

“We wanted to learn what it would look like if Google were in China. It’s very early and we don’t know whether we would or could do this in China but we felt like it was important for us to explore, given how important the market is and how many users there are,” The Verge quoted Pichai as saying.

Information regarding Google’s “Dragonfly” project began surfacing in August and since then the company has faced severe backlash from its employees as well as the US government.

Google’s plan to launch the censored browser has come under heavy criticism from one of its former Asia-Pacific head of free expression who called it a “stupid move”.

In September, Google reportedly developed a prototype of “Dragonfly” that linked users’ search history to their personal phone numbers allowing security agencies to easily track users seeking out information banned by the government.

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Google’s plan to launch the censored browser has come under heavy criticism from one of its former Asia-Pacific head. VOA

Along with former Google Senior Scientist Jack Poulson, several other employees have resigned from the company citing lack of corporate transparency after it revealed its efforts about “Dragonfly”.

The company has been guarding the China-project details against the US Congress.

Appearing before members of the US Congress at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in September end, Google’s Chief Privacy Officer, Keith Enright confirmed that the China search project does exist, but did not disclose much.

President Donald Trump’s administration has also asked Google to shun the “Dragonfly” project.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

 

Though Pichai describes his company’s China plans as very preliminary, it is clear that backlash within and outside the company has been vocal and will only intensify in future, the report added.

Also Read: U.S. Government Warns People Against China-Linked Hacking Group

Google had launched a search engine in China in 2006 but pulled the plug in 2010, citing Chinese government efforts to limit free speech and block websites. (IANS)

Next Story

Google To Test Updating Pre-loaded Apps Without Signing Into Account

Google is advising developers to make sure that any updates to their app work properly in the absence of a Google account. 

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Google is advising developers to make sure that any updates to their app work properly in the absence of a Google account. Pixabay

Google is planning to roll-out a functionality that would auto-update pre-loaded apps via Google Play even when users are not signed into their Google accounts.

With this feature, the search engine giant aims to provide a more consistent app experience for users in the coming months, Android Police reported on Friday.

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.

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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

“In the coming months, Google Play will begin testing a new feature that will automatically allow Google Play to update pre-loaded apps and with users having an option to turn off this feature at any time if they wish. This should also help developers reduce overhead costs required to support obsolete app versions,” the report quoted Google as saying in a letter to the developers.

Google is advising developers to make sure that any updates to their app work properly in the absence of a Google account.
Also Read: Social Networking Giant Facebook Allows Ads to Promote Anti-vaccine Content
The feature would only apply to devices shipped with Android Lollipop or newer OS versions, the report added.

It is yet not clear by when would the feature be officially released for all Android users. (IANS)