According to the Intercept, Google's new search engine will automatically detect websites blocked in the country and censor them, the search engine will also "blacklist sensitive queries" so that "no results will be shown". After all, China, according to Motherboard writer Daniel Oberhaus, is a goldmine for internet companies, with twice as many people online as America.
Google has not been operative in China since 2010, when it shut down operations in the country over accusations of limiting free speech.
Google has been working for more than a year on a new Search app for Android that would serve the Chinese market, but in the way the Chinese government wants it to operate.More news: China keen on military drills with Asean, insists on keeping USA out
Critics and human rights groups are already accusing Google of bending to China's will.
Others opposed the news on moral grounds. Over the years, rumors of the Google Play Store returning to China have emerged multiple times, only to come to nothing in the end.
A security guard keeps watch as he walks past a logo of Google in Shanghai, China, April 21, 2016. Don't be evil. The corporate profits aren't worth it. "Google claims to value freedom and one hopes Google will put its corporate principles and America first, ahead of Chinese cash", Cotton said in a statement. "The liberals of this world obviously will recoil at the idea". Two different versions of the app called "Maotai" and "Longfei" have been developed and is pending approval from government officials.
Google declined to comment on specifics mentioned in The Intercept report, but noted that it has launched a number of mobile apps in the country and works with local developers as part of maintaining its domestic presence.More news: Samsung Posts Galaxy Note 9 Intro a Bit Early, Quickly Pulls It
"This has very serious implications not just for China, but for all of us, for freedom of information and internet freedom", Poon said.
Quite simply, China is the biggest internet market in the world. Most are based at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, though others are reportedly spread out across the United States. Shares in Baidu, which reported better-than-expected results a day earlier, slumped as much as 8 percent on Wednesday.
About three months later, Google made good on a threat to stop offering search in China.
The news emerged in a piece from The Intercept, which obtained documents about an internal Google project to relaunch a search service in mainland China, complete with government censorship. Following the meeting, Google announced an AI research center in Beijing and later released a file management app and sketch game for China's growing internet-using population. But they said that it was unclear at this point if the app would be launched - partly because of the negative publicity surrounding the Intercept's story and partly due to the ongoing tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade.More news: Five key points from Italian PM Conte's meeting with Donald Trump