For almost a decade, Google has been conspicuously absent from China. This includes all of Google’s products and services such as search, Gmail, and so on, and to a certain extent even Android where Android devices in China are essentially forked versions of Android with Google’s services stripped from it.
However recently we have heard reports that Google could be planning on relaunching in China, where they would create a censored version of Google Search that would appease the Chinese government. Those are just rumors for now, but apparently they are rumors that have gotten some US Senators concerned to the point where they want to question Google about it.
In a letter sent to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai by Senator Marco Rubio and signed by other US lawmakers, it expressed their concern that Google’s plan to relaunch in China would represent “a coup for the Chinese government” and how it presents a “worrying precedent for other companies seeking to do business in China”. It also expresses their concern about US companies working with Chinese corporations that are linked to the Chinese government.
However like we said, the report about Google relaunching in China is based on a rumor which means that for all we know, it could be wrong. That being said, this is also not the first time where US companies have been grilled about their operations in China. Last year following the removal of VPN apps from the China iOS App Store, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was questioned by US Senators who felt that Apple was “enabling” China’s censorship of the internet.