Google has sought to reassure the US Congress that it has ‘no plans’ to re-enter the Chinese market amid heightened tensions between the two superpowers.
Chief executive Sundar Pichai dismissed speculation of an imminent return amidst widespread fears in the US and among Google’s own employees that this would require acceptance of Chinese censorship and surveillance policies.
Google’s popular search engine was blocked in China back in 2010, leaving the American firm shut out of what has become the world’s largest smartphone market.
Addressing the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Pichai said: “Right now, there are no plans to launch search in China,” but admitted that his company had tasked over 100 people with investigating ‘what search could look like’ in the country.
Pichai promised full transparency with policymakers in the event that Google does eventually decide to offer its search products within China.
Last month Google staff staged a global mutiny in protest at the company's treatment of women.