The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, was summoned to stand before the Congressional Committee where he was grilled on numerous claims of anti-conservative bias.
According to Pichai, Google currently has no plans of relaunching a search engine in China, but it is an idea they continue to look at. His statement was made after the overwhelming amount of scrutiny Google has received from other big tech firms.
Both Google employees and lawmakers have brought up concerns that company is going to comply with China’s strict surveillance and internet censorship if it relaunches the Asian nation.
Alphabet Inc.’s main search platform, Google, has been blocked in the Asian nation since 2010. However, Google has been trying to make progress with the country, as it has the world’s amount of smartphone users.
Sundar Pichai told the United States House of Representatives judiciary committee that right now, there aren’t any plans to launch Google search in China. Pichai also stated that Google has developed a project that helps them to see what search looks like if they did launch in China.
Google has also made the promise of providing the utmost transparency should discussions with the Chinese government begin. Pichai claimed that transparency to policymakers if the company brings search engine products to China is highly important.
Reuters advised that a Chinese government official advised them that Google is unlike to receive clearance to relaunch their service in China in 2019. Sundar Pichai has not stated which steps Google is to take if they re-enter the market.
Under heavy questioning from David Cicilline, a Democratic representative, Pichai said to be happy to engage in talks of legislation that can empower the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to address discriminatory online conduct.
David Cicilline advised Pichai that it was hard for him to picture Google operating in the Chinese market; especially under their current government framework. He doesn’t believe that Google can continue with their global values of personal privacy and freedom of expression if they do.