Conflicting rumors and reports surround the topic of Google search returning to China. It all started with an Intercept report claiming that a censored version of the search engine might be in the works, according to allegedly leaked documents. Meanwhile, reports from China, citing information from “relevant departments”, are vehement in debunking the comeback of Google search.
The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, claims that Google is courting its partners in China to help convince the Chinese government. The Mountain View giant offers tools to app developers, manufacturers and advertisers in China, while its search engine, YouTube, and Gmail remain blocked for most Chinese citizens.
The report lends credence to previous rumors of Google working on a search engine that would obey Chinese censorship rules. This project is allegedly dubbed “Dragonfly, and Google is relying on its partners to help convince the Chinese government to authorize such a move.
“Chinese authorities want to support domestic champions as much as possible,” said Marbridge Consulting’s Mark Natkin. This is what Google is relying on, apparently, naming companies like Xiaomi, Mobvoi, JD.com, and Tencent Holdings Ltd., in its attempt to demonstrate its contribution to the Chinese economy, and hopefully get official permission for Google Search, and other blocked products.
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