Google shares closed lower in the US Thursday, as US Vice President Mike Pence, called on the global tech behemoth to end its project ‘dragonfly’, to create a censored version of Google for Chinese users.
The comment came in a speech by the VP, that stated other firms were already thinking carefully about their China-related plans. Google has yet to confirm that such a project exists.
Google shares ended the Thursday US trading session 2.84% lower at $1,177.07. The stock is also currently lower, pre-market.
Google called to end its China internet project
Speaking to a conservative thinktank in Washing DC Thursday, Pence was clear in his call for Google to end its development of a censored internet search engine for Chinese users.
“More business leaders are thinking beyond the next quarter, and thinking twice before diving into the Chinese market if it means turning over their intellectual property or abetting Beijing’s oppression,” Pence said.
“But more must follow suit. For example, Google should immediately end development of the “Dragonfly” app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers,” he said.
The project Pence mentioned, is reportedly Google’s attempt at re-entering the Chinese internet market.
Sundar Pichai’s tech giant is said to be developing an internet search engine that would block sites that aren’t welcome in China, including Facebook and Twitter and also certain search terms, such as ‘Tiananmen Square massacre’.
Book a ride service with just your voice
Separately Google said Thursday, that some users are now able to book a ride with services like Uber and Lyft, just by asking their smartphone.
Simply say “hey Google, book me a ride to [your preferred destination]” and it will bring up a list of options, including services such as Uber, Lyft, Go-Jek and any other local service that’s online, with estimated waiting times and prices.
You then just tap the one that suits you best and continue to the relevant app, to complete the booking.