The tech giant had already come under fire this year from thousands of employees who signed a petition against a $10-million contract with the United States military, which was not renewed.
Another source who spoke to AFP said: "There's a lot of angst internally". After all, China, according to Motherboard writer Daniel Oberhaus, is a goldmine for internet companies, with twice as many people online as America. Google hasn't issued a statement denying the report.
"We provide a number of mobile apps in China, such as Google Translate and Files Go, help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like JD.com".
It's good that Google's famous "Don't be evil" motto isn't an official motto anymore, because Google is about to do a bunch of evil in the near future if a whistleblower is to be believed.
For those unaware, Google wasn't always banned in China.
Google isn't just reported to be working on a censored search engine for the Chinese market-according to a new article from The Information, it's also developing a censored news aggregation app for China.
Most popular internet-based applications and websites are banned in China.
The Chinese official, who did not want to be named, said that the new project is not now approved by authorities and it was highly unlikely that such a project would be able to be up and operating during 2018.
However, the Securities Times which is owned by the Chinese government said that reports of the search engine by Google returning were not true.
Google did operate in the country from 2006 to 2010, when it also agreed to the local censorship laws, facing harsh criticism from USA officials. Allowing Google back into the country would appear to be of little overall benefit to the Chinese government.
It comes as China steps up scrutiny into business dealings involving U.S. tech firms including Facebook. Once the platform detects controversial keywords, it will filter and block websites that are now prohibited from visiting in China, like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and effectively all adult entertainment content. The company ran a censored search engine in China from 2006 to 2010, when...
The dynamic changed in January 2010, when Google charged that Chinese hackers had targeted Google and more than 20 other Western companies and compromised the email accounts of Chinese dissidents living overseas. Helmed by billionaire founder Robin Li Yanhong, the company has pushed into artificial intelligence, notably in autonomous cars where it is striving to build an open-platform for self-driving vehicle technology.
Fast forward eight years, and Chinese internet companies are some of the largest on the planet, with much of their success forged on an uneven home playing field on which western companies have been unable to compete.