Eric Schmidt: Internet Could Split in 2 by 2028

Irving Hamilton
September 22, 2018

"However, a Chinese-led internet would carry not only a new set of expertise but also higher levels of censorship".

Google came under fire on Thursday when company emails were made publicshowing that employees discussed altering the search function in order to favor pro-immigration rhetoric.

Speaking at a private event in San Francisco, Schmidt said that he believes China will effectively split away and create its own internet.

You may notice a lot of "may" and "could" and "report" in the paragraphs above, since Google still hasn't confirmed that such a project even existed, much less how it might work - all Google has publicly said is that it's "not close to launching a search product in China", and it's worth noting that reports suggest the search engine is now a prototype. "Chinese Internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the USA, which is also a big number".

If you think of China as like 'Oh yeah, they're good with the Internet, ' you're missing the point. I think you're going to see fantastic leadership in products and services from China.

Schmidt added that the "danger" that comes along with the innovative products being developed in Beijing is that a different leadership regime will emerge in government, along with censorship and controls.

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Schmidt has flagged up Chinese technological advancement before.

A bipartisan group of six USA senators wrote a letter to Pichai last month describing Google's potential return to China as "deeply troubling", noting China's repressive surveillance regime and human rights abuses.

The Belt and Road Initiative is China's infrastructure project to link itself to 70 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania with railways and shipping lanes.

Last month, Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai told staff at an all-hands meeting that the company is in the "early stages" of considering a re-entrance in China, according to Bloomberg News, but that developers were not close to finalizing a search product.

At least 1,000 employees have protested the existence of such a project, according to The New York Times, and The Intercept and Buzzfeed report that some employees have resigned in protest.

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