What happened: Google CEO Sundar Pichai denied that the company plans to re-open its search business in China, although it is continuing to study the idea. Pinchai made the comment before a US congressional panel on Tuesday (Dec. 11). He also mentioned that there had been no discussion with Chinese officials until now, though an internal project for developing the search product had been “underway for a while,” with over 100 employees involved.
Why it’s important: Google’s main search platform has been banned in mainland China since 2010. Lawmakers and Google employees have raised concerns over how Google would operate in the Chinese market while maintaining a commitment to universal values. It has seen increased resistance within its ranks, with more than 200 employees issuing an open letter to the company demanding it cease developing the search engine for China. The hearing was also the first time Pichai has appeared before Congress.