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AFP
October 14, 2018

Google tells US lawmakers it is mulling options on China services

Business

AFP
October 14, 2018

WASHINGTON: Alphabet Inc’s Google unit has told U.S. lawmakers it was considering “a variety of options” to offer additional services in China, but declined to detail plans for addressing Chinese censorship.

The company has come under criticism after reports it was considering re-entering China’s search engine market and would comply with its internet censorship and surveillance policies.In an Aug. 31 letter to six senators made public on Friday, Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said the company was “thoughtfully considering a variety of options for how to offer services in China in a way that is consistent with our mission.”

The letter was reported earlier by The Intercept, a news website. Google declined to comment.

Reuters and other outlets had reported in August that Google planned to launch a version of its search engine in China that would block some websites and search terms. The move would mark its return to a market it abandoned eight years ago on censorship concerns.

Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said on Friday he was “really disappointed with Google’s response,” through the letter, to questions from senators about the company’s plans in China.

Google said it was “unclear” if it would move forward with a search engine in China, and that it was “not in a position to be able to answer detailed questions.”

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