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Google CEO: "We do not plan to restart research in China"

After weeks of criticism, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company had abandoned plans to build a censored search engine, but that Google (GOOG) was always looking for a return to China continued to swirl.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow, Pichai said Google was not actively working on a new Chinese search engine, although he acknowledged that Google would not ignore the country and its hundreds of millions of internet users.

"We are not planning to relaunch our service in China," Pichai said. He added: "We have always sought to serve the next billion users … Our goal is to provide information".

Google is committed to complying with international laws and regulations, he said. Although China does not share the value of Google as a free and open Internet, the company, to reach more users, is "always a set of ongoing conversations that we have at Google".

Pichai said Google would need "good conditions" to revive the country, and that the uncensored internet is an "important condition" for making that decision. But he refused to share more details.

"I do not want to speculate on a hypothetical situation," he said. "We have no plans, and, you know, we do not spend any time on it."

It's not just Google: China has long been an enigma for high-tech companies, which are attracted by its massive user base and its thriving online marketplace. But violations of human rights and the strengthening of the Chinese Communist Party's authority over freedom of expression and information have forced companies to struggle with ethical issues . According to the US State Department, since 2017, nearly 2 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities have been detained against their will in refugee camps. ; internment.
Harlow also asked Pichai to respond to US General Joseph Dunford's statement that Google's work in China "is a direct benefit" for the country's armed forces.

Pichai said that Google had "good conversations" about this controversy and that it "had dispelled all misunderstandings".

"We do not work in China, our presence in China is limited," he said. This includes "limited artificial intelligence," or artificial intelligence, via an open source project called TensorFlow, he said. The company also carries out "non-profit work," Pichai said.

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