Google’s controversial China search engine project, named Dragonfly, has been terminated and employees working on it have been reportedly reassigned.
The controversial Chinese search engine previously in development by Google that raised privacy, censorship, and human rights concerns is finally, officially, no more, mashable.com on Tuesday quoted Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of global government affairs and public policy, as saying.
Responding to questions from Republican Senator Josh Hawley, the top Google executive said: “We have terminated Project Dragonfly.”
This unequivocal response is a departure from previous couched statements by Google executives regarding Dragonfly’s status. For example, in December, chief executive Sundar Pichai told Congress that “right now there are no plans for us to launch a search product in China”, the report added.
Meanwhile, the tech giant’s offices in the US, UK, Canada, India, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark have witnessed protests by human rights groups over its plan to re-enter China through the censored search application.
Senior Google employees have also resigned citing lack of corporate transparency after the company revealed its efforts to re-enter China through “Dragonfly”.
The search engine giant had launched a search engine in China in 2006 but pulled the service out of the country in 2010, citing Chinese government efforts to limit free speech and block websites.