Google has been developing a search engine dedicated, and custom-built for China. The new search engine will supposedly take all of the Chinese government’s myriad of stipulations into account, and operate within the boundaries of government regulations. However, US Vice-President Mike Pence is not very thrilled at the idea, and has taken the opportunity to express his opposition publicly.
The United States VP expressed his opinions at a conservative think tank in Washington. Fanning anti-Beijing sentiments, Pence said that Google should think twice about its plans to create a China-friendly, mobile version of its search engine.
Google’s reasons for building a “China-friendly” search engine are pretty clear. China is one of the largest markets in the world. However, the potential in the market there is matched by the communist government’s fervor to keep every aspect of the common public’s life, including the internet, under its control. Plenty of mainstream companies such as Facebook, Twitter etc. have been banned in the country, because of their unwillingness to co-operate with the government in enforcing its rules.
However, Google clearly wants a piece of the Chinese market, and hence came up with the idea of creating an entirely separate version of its search engine, generally refereed to as “Dragonfly”. This custom-built search engine would not allow access to banned sites like Facebook and Twitter, censors terms which the communist government does not like, and basically not allow access to any websites that the communist government dislikes.
Stating that Google’s project Dragonfly was actually a means of “abetting Beijing’s oppression”, Pence called upon the tech giant to cease development immediately.
Here is a detailed statement from the Vice President:
More business leaders are thinking beyond the next quarter, and thinking twice before diving into the Chinese market if it means turning over their intellectual property or abetting Beijing’s oppression. But more must follow suit. For example, Google should immediately end development of the “Dragonfly” app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers…
More journalists are reporting the truth without fear or favor, and digging deep to find where China is interfering in our society, and why – and we hope that more American, and global, news organizations will join in this effort.
More scholars are speaking out forcefully and defending academic freedom, and more universities and think tanks are mustering the courage to turn away Beijing’s easy money, recognizing that every dollar comes with a corresponding demand. We’re confident that more will join their ranks.
And across the nation, the American people are growing in vigilance, with a newfound appreciation for our administration’s actions to re-set America’s economic and strategic relationship with China, to finally put America First.
Pence’s statements are pretty much bang on. However, it is rather ironic that he makes them as the second-on-command of a government which has been gathering its own notoriety when it comes to suppressing voices, and expressing outright contempt for the press.