Nov 02, 2018 12:02 PM

Google CEO Says China Search Engine Project Was ‘Experiment’

Google offices in Granary Square, London. Photo: VCG
Google offices in Granary Square, London. Photo: VCG

Google LLC Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai says the company’s controversial project to develop a search engine for the Chinese market was an “experiment.”

The search engine for China, nicknamed Project Dragonfly, was revealed earlier this year in news reports, spurring criticism from U.S. politicians, human-rights activists and some employees at the Alphabet Inc. unit. Company workers said a filtered search engine would be in conflict with Google’s values.

Pichai, who had previously said the project was in its early stages, seemed to have rolled it back further on Thursday when he characterized the search engine for China as an experiment. The CEO’s comments contradicted reporting by The Intercept suggesting the project was in its mature stages.

At an event last month, Pichai said Google could better serve Chinese internet users with the filtered search engine it was developing for a return to the market. “There are many, many areas where we would provide information better than what’s available,” Pichai said at the event hosted by Wired magazine.

Reporting by Bloomberg and Caixin. 

Contact editor Yang Ge (

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