Google CEO Sundar Pichai has defended Project Dragonfly, a project that investigated the potential of launching a censored version of the Google search engine and other products in China.
Pichai was speaking at the WIRED25 conference, and 9to5Google reported that he said the aim of Project Dragonfly was to explore what Google would look like in China after eight years.
“People don’t understand fully, but [when you enter a new country] you’re always balancing a set of values,” Pichai said.
He said that these include access to information, freedom of expression, and user privacy, but added that Google also follows the rule of law in every country.
Pichai said that the result of its investigation was that not only would Google be able to serve well over 99% of queries, but that there are several areas where Google could provide better information than what is currently available in China.
One example is searching “cancer treatments”. “Today, people either get fake cancer treatments or they actually get useful information.”
According to Pichai, it is still “very early” and Google does not yet know whether it would or could offer the service tested.
With China representing 20% of the world’s population, Pichai said they believed it was important to explore the option of providing Google’s services in the country.