Dem Sen. Warner Blasts Google for Reply on China Search

Dem Sen. Warner Blasts Google for Reply on China Search

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is blasting Google for a response to lawmakers’ inquiries about its reported plans to launch a search engine in China that would comply with censorship laws.

Warner says he is “truly disappointed” with a letter from Google CEO Sundar Pichai that arrived Friday, before a Senate hearing Wednesday in which Google will not have a representative present.

Pichai said in the letter he was not able to answer detailed questions and said the question of whether it would release a search engine in China “remains unclear.”

Warner says any Google effort to get back into China could help the Chinese government repress its citizens. Google says despite pulling its search engine from China in 2010, it still employs hundreds of workers there.

Google will not have an executive testifying alongside Twitter and Facebook before a Senate intelligence committee hearing Wednesday.

The committee invited Larry Page, the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet. Google offered another executive instead, and the committee said no.

The other executive is chief legal officer and senior vice president of global affairs Kent Walker. Google says Walker will still submit testimony and brief members on the subject of the hearing, which is foreign influence operations and their use of social media platforms.

Walker’s written testimony says the company found “limited activity” around government-backed election interference following the 2016 vote and took “swift action” once it did. Google says it continues to use “advanced technologies” to increase security and fight manipulation on its platforms.

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