Google shares fall as CEO confirms ‘Project Dragonfly’
Google shares closed in the red Monday, as the tech giant’s CEO, Sundar Pichai confirmed the existence of ‘Project Dragonfly’ in which the firm is testing a censored version of its search engine for Chinese users.
Pichai also said that even though it recently announced that would not bid for a $10 billion US Department of Defence cloud contract, the firm remains open to work with the Department of Defence.
Google shares ended the US Monday trading session 1.62% lower at $1,102.44. The stock is also currently lower in out-of-hours activity.
Google working on censored search engine
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Google’s Pichai told an audience at the Wired 25 tech event Monday, that there is a Google team working on a censored version of the Google search engine, to serve Chinese users, within their Government’s rules.
Google left the Chinese search engine provision market in 2010, largely due to censoring issues. However, even though there has been a backlash from staff and prominent figures with the view that creating a censored version of the internet wasn’t the best use of its time, Pichai appeared supportive of the internal project – so far.
“We wanted to learn what it would look like if Google were in China, so that's what we built internally,” Pichai told his audience in San Francisco. “It turns out we'll be able to serve well over 99% of the queries.”
“It's very early, we don't know whether we would or could do this in China but we felt like it was important for us to explore,” Google’s CEO added.
Still open to working with US DoD
Pichai also said Monday, that while the tech giant was not planning to compete for the US DoD’s $10 billion cloud contract, it remains very supportive of the US armed forces. That includes being open to plans for working with the Government in the future, perhaps in areas including cybersecurity and transportation planning.
“We deeply respect what they do to protect our country,” Pichai said of the US armed forces.