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Google could return to China with a censor-friendly version of its search engine

Bad news for Bing...

Photograph: Rodion Kutsaev via Unsplash
We'll level with you: like Elon Musk turning up at that cave in Thailand with a useless submarine, or Kim Jong Un agreeing to meet with Donald Trump in Singapore, this wasn't news that we were expecting. It seems that Google is making its way back to China... sort of.

According to Technode, Google is planning a censored version of its search engine for China, which is expected to arrive in six to nine months pending government approval. Project Dragonfly – which sounds more like a Mission: Impossible movie – started in April of last year and engineers have reportedly built two different versions of the Google search engine app for the Chinese market. Bad news for Bing it seems...

Bing: always the bridesmaid and never the bride. The 'you wanted Coke but got Pepsi' of search engines. Bing: always picked last in PE class; didn't have a date to prom but went anyway because its mum had already rented a tux. Bing: the Suzhou to Google's Venice – the Google of the East. You'd rather be at the roof terrace at The W but had to settle for Kartel because your VPN isn't working, Bing.

Google exited China in 2010, following criticism from the US government and civil rights groups over the censorship of search results, but has slowly been creeping back into the country via its translate app and an AI research lab that opened in Beijing last year.

This Google result (pardon the pun) isn't definite, what with authorities able to change their minds about the project at any time, similar to how the Facebook subsidiary that looked set to open in China was denied a business license last month. Keep an eye out on our website or check Bing for any further updates on the story. We love you, Bing. Hang in there.

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