Google return in China in doubt after employee outcry

17 August 2018

Back at the beginning of the month we heard of a project called Dragonfly, aiming to bring back Google Search to China but with revised mechanisms and abiding by the censorship laws in China.

Now The New York Times reported that a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical consequences has been circling around the Google offices and has already been signed by over 1,400 employees of the Mountain View company.

The message asks leadership “to work with employees to implement concrete transparency and oversight processes”. Undersigned Googlers expect future projects to have an ethics review structure that includes rank and file employee representatives; an ombudsperson; a clear plan to enable Googlers an individual ethical choice; and an ethical assessment of Dragonfly, among other projects.

Google officials are also requested to have internally visible communications regarding “any new areas of substantial ethical concern”.

Back in 2010 Google had an issue with Chinese hackers and in response pulled out all its major services from the country. Investors are not pleased that the company right now have no leverage in an eventual attempt to return to the Chinese market and are pressuring officials to find a way, while employees stated concerns about the “Don’t Be Evil” internal motto of the company.

Some employees are said to be in favor of re-entering China, saying the decision to exit didn't really cause much trouble to local authorities and Google is missing out on the world’s largest base of internet users.

Source

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