Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has avoided answering pointed questions posed by six US senators about the company's plan to launch a censored search engine in China, instead resorting to broad generalities such as the claim that the move would have “broad benefits inside and outside of China".
Google's plan to launch a censored search engine in China has attracted attention from the US Government, with Vice-President Mike Pence calling on the company to drop the plan.
Google's reluctance to offer any public comment on its plans to launch a censored search engine in China has been reinforced by a report that the company has made employees erase from their systems a confidential memo containing details about the China plan.
Internal protests are growing at Google, with employees questioning the company's leaders over a move to launch a censored version of its search engine in China.
Google's plan to launch a censored version of its Web search engine as an Android app in China has been criticised by the company's former head of free expression issues in Asia and the Pacific, who said the "stupid move" that would go against human rights principles.
Engineers at Google used search queries from a Chinese Web directory service owned by the company to develop blacklists for a censored search engine that is planned to be provided in China, possibly as soon as this year. A functioning version of the search engine is said to be ready.
Search behemoth Google will launch a censored mobile version of its search engine for the Chinese market, with no access to sites about human rights, democracy, religion or peaceful protest, The Intercept reports.
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