Pichai said that Google would need the “right conditions” to relaunch in the country, and censorship-free internet is an “important condition” for making that decision. But he declined to share further details.
“I don’t want to speculate on a hypothetical situation,” he said. “We have no plans. And, you know, we are not spending time on it.”
Google CEO reacts to growing calls to break up big tech
It’s not just Google: China has long been a conundrum for tech companies, which are drawn to its massive user base and thriving online shopping market. But human rights abuses and tightening authority by the Communist Party of China over free speech and information has forced companies to grapple with ethical questions. According to the US State Department, since 2017, up to 2 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyzs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities have been held against their will in internment camps.
Harlow also asked Pichai to respond to US General Joseph Dunford’s claim that Google’s work in China “is a direct benefit” to the nation’s military.
Pichai said Google had “good conversations” about that controversy and said it has “cleared up any misunderstandings.”
“We are not doing any work in China. We have a limited presence in China,” he said. That includes “limited AI,” or artificial intelligence, work through an open-source project called TensorFlow, he said. The company also does “some nonprofit work,” Pichai said.
This content was originally published here.