Despite Google being a huge force in multiple international markets, there is one market that they have yet to break through, and that is China. Due to China’s strict regulations and censorship laws, Google pulled out from the country in 2010, although there were rumors from earlier this year suggesting that Google could be getting back in.

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During a conference held in San Francisco, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai has finally addressed the rumors of an alleged censored search engine. Pichai had previously stated that they weren’t close to launching in China and that statement still holds true. However Pichai revealed that the company was indeed exploring the idea of a search engine that would comply with China’s regulations.

He claims that based on internal tests, they found that despite the censorship laws and regulations, 99% of queries could still be served. However it has been pointed out that due to the sheer number of internet users in China, 1% still translates into thousands of queries that will not be able to make it through.

According to Pichai, “We wanted to learn what it would look like if Google were in China, so that’s what we built internally. 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. I think it’s important for us given how important the market is and how many users there are.”

That being said, earlier reports have revealed that Google’s employees have protested the search engine internally, while some US lawmakers want to know more about Google’s plans for if/when they were to return to China.

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