While speaking to the members of State Judiciary on Tuesday, Karan Bhatia who is Vice-President of Public Policy at Google stated that the company had terminated ‘Project Dragonfly’ – it’s one of the most ambitious projects of the recent times. It was a search engine project aimed at the Chinese market. It reportedly involved enormous concessions for the State Censors, and Google’s staff members had been protesting against it in recent times. The employees who were associated with it have already been reassigned.
Bhatia made this revelation while he was responding to the questions of Josh Hawley. It was the first time when such a higher ranked company official had used such a concrete term to describe the fate of this project. Another Google official while talking to media regarding this project stated that the company had stated earlier as well that they have no plans of launching a Search Engine in China. Currently, the company is not undertaking any such work regarding this project. The team members have already been moved to new projects.
In 2010, Google had removed several services from China after the country’s authoritarian government had imposed several restrictions against the company. However, since the last few years, the company was trying to make a comeback. Currently, it has its maintenance staff there working in Hardware and Sales.
During December 2018, Google was secretive about its ‘Dragonfly’ project. CEO Sundar Pichai had dropped a hint by stating that they have no plans of launching services in China as of now. However, in March 2019, it had been suspected that few Google employees were working in secrecy.
On Tuesday, American senator Mark Warner also stated that Google had decided to back off from its Chinese project. Earlier Google had signed a deal with a top Chinese tech firm to work in the Cloud Computing sector.