Return to China
In August of this year, news about Google's upcoming return to the Chinese market and the provision of search services was on the rise.
The news was originally from Google’s internal files and insiders’ sources, saying that Google isDevelopmentA search engine that "can meet the requirements of Chinese law", the project code is "蜻蜓". According to the news at the time, the related apps will be online within 6-9 months at the earliest. But it hasn't waited for six months, Google has stopped the project.
The story begins 10 years ago. In 2008, when Google had not retired from the Chinese market, it’s fromdomain nameDawang" Cai Wensheng bought the domain name 265.com and used it to make a "URL navigation" similar to hao123. Like hao123, 265.com also provides search services in a prominent position on the page. The user enters a keyword and sends a search request, and 265.com returns Google's search results.
After that, Google quits China, but 265.com has not completely stopped operating, and now it can be accessed normally, but all search requests will be redirected to Baidu. So in the years when Google Search was withdrawn from mainland China, it was still able to collect a large amount of search request data through 265.com and use it for market research.
According to a person inside of Google’s insiders, the developers of the “蜻蜓” project have gained a hugedatabaseIt is all search requests from Chinese users collected by Google from 265.com. And there are engineers who have access to the relevant API interfaces and can get real-time relevant data directly from 265.com.
The daily work of the “蜻蜓” project engineer is to use the search data on 265.com to find out what keywords Chinese people usually search for and test what results will be obtained by searching for these keywords on Google. Then put these search results in a tool called "BeaconTower" to check thesewebsiteIs it a website that can be legally accessed in mainland China? In this way, Google has created a list of "illegal websites", and then you can integrate this "blacklist" into the "蜻蜓" system, and then block out those illegal search results in the search engine.
The news broke out from within Google and was forced to stop because of internal pressure.
Google’s internal policies and regulations are that any data collection should be reviewed by the company’s “Privacy Team” to ensure that the user’s rights are not violated and that there are no violations of the User Agreement to circumvent the relevant legal risks. However, Google’s management has not disclosed to the privacy team about the data collected in the “蜻蜓” project. This made the privacy team “very angry.” After internal discussions, the engineers of the “蜻蜓” project were told that they could no longer use the data obtained on 265.com for related development.
A few weeks ago, the "蜻蜓" project team began to mine and develop data related to search requests from Google's site, because the search request data on Google's site is completely legal in its acquisition and use, and also in the internals of Google. procedure. However, most of these search requests come from Chinese living in overseas countries. The usage habits of Chinese local users are still very different. The “curve saving the country” approach greatly reduces the development efficiency and accuracy of filtering content of the “蜻蜓” project.
According to two sources familiar with the plan, the continued fermentation of the “蜻蜓” project incident has caused a fierce response within Google, resulting in a crack between management and employees. Several groups of engineers left the "蜻蜓" project team after learning about the situation. Yonatan Zunger, a senior engineer who has worked at Google for 14 years, said he worked for a few months in the "蜻蜓" project team last year. The project was very special from the start, with a high level of confidentiality and from the start. Was "discriminally treated" by Google. "The heads of the Google China division and the "蜻蜓" project don't seem to care much about security and privacy issues," Zunger said. "Google's legal and privacy team needs to have the right to question their product decisions and be sure to keep them with them. A relationship of open confrontation."
Later, the relevant employee initiated a complaint internally, stating that Google had concealed specific details about the project from the employee, and that the employee did not know where the work he was doing would be used in the development process. This event ultimately caused a huge blow to the management, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who had been "returning to the Chinese market" as an important "big thing" in the past two years, giving it a very high priority. level.
Last week, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was questioned in the US Congress, and some members raised questions about the "蜻蜓" project. Sundar responded that there is no plan to launch a search engine in China for the time being, but it cannot completely deny the possibility of the future. Google's initial goal was to officially launch the "蜻蜓" system between January and April 2019, but both internal and external pressures have forced company management to shelve the project.
In the end, the "蜻蜓" project was shut down, and Google’s hopes of entering China were once again shattered, at least in the short term.