by on August 12, 2019
According to, DuckDuckGo still trails a number of other search engines in traffic, including Yahoo, Bing, and internet relic it does have AOL beat. You can't cut a slice of the pie much thinner than that. On a good day, DuckDuckGo claims about a fifth of a percent of the total search market. It's not just Google, either.
"Given how important the market is and how many users there are, we feel obliged to think hard about this problem and take a longer-term view." The Google CEO also said during the event that the company re-evaluated its choice to pull out of China a few years ago, calling the country a wonderful and innovative market. "We wanted to learn what it would look like if we were in China, so that's what we built internally," he said.
The Great Firewall of China already bars citizens from accessing non-Chinese social bookmark media sources including Facebook, Google, Gmail, Twitter and Microsoft's Bing, and last month China also blocked off Wikipedia.
Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images A swathe of news sites including The Guardian, the Washington Post, The Intercept, HuffPost, NBC News, the Toronto Star, recommended websites the Christian Science Monitor and Breitbart News have reportedly been blocked in China.
The responses aren't completely surprising. His testimony is consistent with that perspective and recommended websites gives the company the freedom to either rollout Dragonfly or quietly shelve it if the backlash is too strong to ignore. Pichai had previously characterized Dragonfly as an exploratory project, and that he thought it was important to take a "longer-term view" that considered the value of deeper and recommended links more accurate information for Chinese internet users.
The Google exec stressed there were "no plans" to launch a search engine for China, and that Dragonfly was an "internal effort" and "limited" in scope. well, you'll mostly be disappointed. -text c-gray-1" >If you were hoping that Google chief Sundar Pichai would shed more light on his company's potential censored search engine for China... Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline grilled Pichai on the recently acknowledged Dragonfly project and mostly encountered attempts to downplay the significance of the engine.
"Starting Chrome M73, we have updated the list of default search engines available in Chrome settings," said a Google spokesperson in an email statement. "The new list is based on popularity of search engines in different locales, determined using publicly available data."
Of course, some 10 years on and the market potential has grown considerably. How it will justify "not being evil" as it appears to put this ahead of human rights, however, remains to be seen. Given the fall out the first time around, it's hard to see how Google thinks things will be different now. China now has more than 750 million internet users -- the majority on Android -- so Dragonfly represents a huge potential revenue stream for the company.
China serves as home to 20 percent of the world's population, after all, and its absence in the nation means it's missing out on such a huge number of potential users. "It turns out we'll be able to serve well over 99 percent of the queries," he said on stage. The executive defended the project, telling people that Google is "compelled by [its] mission [to] provide information to everyone," but it also has to follow the laws in every country.
DuckDuckGo has become popular among users who are concerned about privacy violations. Founded in 2008, DuckDuckGo lets users search online anonymously. The private search engine in October said it had reached 30 million searches.
Incognito, or private browsing, is meant to help hide your browsing history on your computer, but Brave Software said searches with DuckDuckGo would help keep your personal behavior details from leaking out onto websites, too.  This isn't DuckDuckGo's first time being a part of other browsers. In 2017, the Brave browser added DuckDuckGo as a default search engine option for users in private tabs.
He didn't say when the product would launch, but when it was first reported in August, sources said it could be ready within six to nine months. Pichai seems to stand by the company's decision to develop the censored search engine, even though employees are pushing back and demanding more transparency.
He also provided a non-committal answer when asked if Google would promise not to create a tool enabling Chinese surveillance. Pichai added that Google was "currently not in discussions" with Chinese officials. "It's in our duty to explore possibilities, to give users access to information," he said.
"We provide a number of mobile apps in China, such as Google Translate and link offers Files Go, help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like But we don't comment on speculation about future plans."
The company cleared the bar twice this week before dropping slightly below the threshold. In a year filled with privacy scandals at major tech companies like Facebook and Google, DuckDuckGo has experienced rapid growth. -text c-gray-1" >DuckDuckGo, a privacy-focused search engine, achieved a new milestone by performing more than 30 million direct searches in a single day. Users made about 16 million searches per day in January, link offers and that number will likely double before the end of the year.
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