Dragonfly: Sundar Pichai gives Google's China project green flag Photograph:( Reuters )
Google had shut its operation in China in 2010 declaring that it won't censor search results.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai at a tech summit declared that the company was building a "censored" version of the search engine for China under project "Dragonfly".
“We are compelled by our mission to provide information to everyone, and China is 20 per cent of the world's population,” the India-born Google head said.
China has officially blocked Facebook, Google, Twitter and other social media sites. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has been trying to enter the lucrative Chinese market for years but hasn't been officially accepted by Chinese authorities.
Google had shut its operation in China in 2010 declaring that it won't censor search results. The country runs its own version of search and social media sites.
Addressing fears that China may try to manipulate the company, Pichai said: “People don't understand fully, but you're always balancing a set of values in every new country."
“It's a wonderful, innovative market. We wanted to learn what it would look like if we were in China, so that's what we built internally," Pichai said, adding,"given how important the market is and how many users there are, we feel obliged to think hard about this problem and take a longer-term view."
"We don't know whether we would or could do this in China but we felt it was important to explore," he said.
Pichai asserted that Google would be able to serve "99% of the queries" made by people in the new project. The Google CEO added that the company had considered China's strong censorship rules while giving the go-ahead for the project.
Pichai had earlier met Republican senators over the issue last month, reports said even as the company faced criticism over possible Chinese repression. The Google CEO is set to appear before the US House panel next month as Republicans want to question Google about whether its search algorithms are influenced by human bias.
Pichai is now also likely to be grilled on the new project.