Google has terminated the censored Dragonfly search engine for the Chinese market. The Google Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Karan Bhatia stated at a hearing in the U.S. Senate.
Earlier, some of Google top-managers said that the company has no plans to launch a search app in China, and they are not working on such a project. This is the first official announcement of the termination of work on Dragonfly. Previously the project existence was recognized by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who said that the company "yet has no" plans to launch a search engine in China.
The rumors about Google's plans to kickstart the censored search app for China appeared in early August 2018. Later, some sources said that the Android app, which Google is working on is a part of a secret project, which will be able to access the users' numbers, making it easier to spy on them. By hearsay, this possibility had to complement the censorship system, which would filter out search requests that China authorities dislike.
In mid-August, about 1,400 Google employees, concerned about reports that the company was working on a search engine with built-in censorship for the Chinese market signed a letter to the company's management demanding to provide information about the project, to realize the moral consequences of their work for the company. Some news sources specified that the Google senior researcher Jack Poulson and four other employees resigned in protest over the Dragonfly project.
In late August, some human rights organizations sent a letter to Sundar Pichai asking him to abandon a plan to create a search product for China. A statement posted on the organization's website, Reporters Without Borders, said that human rights activists are urging the company not to cooperate with Chinese censorship. Activists demand to stay committed to the values listed in Google's Code of Conduct, Ethical charter of the company and its Manifesto of the free and open Internet.
Google search engine was blocked in China in 2010, and now many other services of the company are banned. However, Google has not entirely left China - in 2017, and the company announced the opening of a center for the study of artificial intelligence in Beijing.