While Google has backed off its plans to build a censored search engine for China for the time being, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said he had advocated for the company’s work there when it originally pulled out of the country.
“In 2010, I was in favor of remaining in China because I believed they would be better to stay in China and help change China to be more open,” said Schmidt in an interview with the BBC. Google co-founder Sergey Brin has gone on record to say he believed the company should not remain in China at the time, telling Spiegel that the censorship “was a real step backward.”
“The company, after an appropriate debate, decided to move to Hong Kong,” Schmidt said. “We don’t know whether my strategy would have worked or not.”