Google had originally pulled out of China back in 2010 but following the rumors of a relaunch, the committee wanted to know what changed to have prompted Google to change their minds, in which Pichai responded by saying, “Right now there are no plans for us to launch a search product in China. We are, in general, always looking to see how best — it’s part of our core mission and our principles — to try hard to provide users with information.”
He adds that should the company plan to relaunch in China, they will be completely transparent about it. “We always have evidence, based on every country we’ve operated in, us reaching out and giving users more information has a very positive impact. And we feel that calling but right now there are no plans to launch in China. To the extent that we ever approach a position like that I will be fully transparent, including with policymakers here. And engage and consult widely.”
The issue isn’t so much about launching in China, but rather what it will entail, which last we heard was a censored search engine which some believe will enable China’s attempts to censor the internet. There have been reports of Google employees protesting the search engine and are calling on Google to cancel the project.
That being, Pichai’s statement does make it clear that the company has no plans of launching in the country, although his choice of words, such as “right now”, suggests that they are open to the idea some time in the future.