Google CEO Sundar Pichai publicly talked about his company's plans to reenter the Chinese market with a search and news-oriented product, and said a lot on Wired 's 25th Anniversary Summit, that such a service would be able to serve 99 percent of requests. Pichai described the Chinese market as "important for us to explore" given its size and the very high probability that it will become the largest and most lucrative Internet usage in the world.
"We wanted to find out what it would look like if Google were in China," Pichai said. "It's very early, we do not know if we can or do that in China, but we felt it was important for us to research it, and I think it's important for us because the market is important and how many users there are. "
It's the first time between Pichai and journalist Steven Levy that the chief executive officer publicly targeted Google's China-focused search plans, known internally as Project Dragonfly. Previously, information about Project Dragonfly was limited to initial disclosures first reported by The Intercept resulting internal leaks and reports of conversations by Google representatives with Congress.
Although Pichai describes his company's China plans as very tentative, it is clear that the reaction inside and outside the company has been loud and will intensify in the coming months. Many employees have signed an open letter asking Google to abandon the project. Critics fear that Chinese freedom of expression will be suppressed and used by the country's government as a means of suppressing dissidents and overseeing their citizens. The Congress, as well as the White House, have also expressed their disapproval and described the potential product as a threat to democracy and as a way to "strengthen censorship of the Communist Party and endanger the privacy of Chinese customers," said Vice President Mike Pence.
Late last month, researcher Jack Poulson publicly resigned from the company and rejected the project to reintroduce a product in China that is "unethical" and contrary to company values. "I was forced to resign on August 31
After The New York Times Poulson made the decision after a meeting with the Google chief of artificial intelligence, Jeff Dean, who raised concerns that Google employees might work on projects that they philosophical and morally reject, downplay. Google has responded to the turmoil within the company by restricting access to Project Dragonfly documents. The Intercept reported back in August.