It was reported a couple of months ago that Google is looking to launch a censored search engine in China. Google shut down its search product in the country back in 2010 amid concerns relating to censorship and thus lost access to a massive market. The company played down reports about having developed a censored search product for China but a new report claims that Google rushed to get employees to delete an internal memo detailing plans for this product.


The Intercept reports that Google’s memo detailed plans for the censored search engine for China and it showed that the plans were farther along than Google executives had previously acknowledged. The memo was written by a Google engineer who was working on the product.

Google human resources later reached out to employees who were believed to have read or saved it to immediately delete any copies. Apparently the information about the project on that memo seemingly contradicted comments from Google CEO Sundar Pichair who recently said that “We are not close to launching a search product in China and whether we would do so or could so so is all very unclear.”

The memo reportedly mentioned that employees were told in late July to get the product in “launch-ready state” so that it could be released quickly after approval was granted by Beijing. Pichai’s comments came in August when he added that “the team has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now, and I think they are exploring many options.”

A spokesperson for Google has reiterated those comments, saying that Google is not close to launching a search product in China.

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