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Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the Google I/O 2018 Conference. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has, for the first time, publicly acknowledged that Google has considered relaunching its search engine in China, stating Monday that the company's mission "is to provide information to everyone."

Why it matters: Since leaks of Google's Project Dragonfly, an internal project prototyping a potential search engine for China, the company has faced criticism for wanting to enter a market that would require it play by the government's censorship rules.

"The reason we did the internal project — it's been years, we've been out of the market ... We wanted to learn what it would be like if Google was in China ... We'll be able to serve well over 99% of queries and there are many many areas in where we would provide information better than what's available. "
— Sundar Pichai, speaking at Wired's 25th anniversary conference in San Francisco Monday

On how it approaches launching projects in any country:

"Our mission is to provide information to everyone ... .every time we work on countries across the world ... We're always balancing a set of values. We're providing users access to information, freedom of expression, user privacy, but we also follow the rule of law in every country."
— Sundar Pichai

Pichai also noted that 20% of the world's population lives in China. Though this fits nicely with the company's mission to offer everyone access to information, it's difficult to ignore what it also means: a huge business opportunity for Google.

Go deeper

DOJ seizes 36 U.S. website domains for Iranian government disinformation

Iran's President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference at Shahid Beheshti conference hall in Tehran on Monday. Photo: Majid Saeedi/Getty Images

American officials seized 36 news website domains linked to Iran's government for spreading disinformation as part of a propaganda campaign, the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The action comes at a time of heightened tension between the two countries, with Iran's hardline President-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Monday ruling out negotiating over missiles or meeting with President Biden as the two nations hold talks on returning Tehran to the 2015 nuclear deal.

NYT: Khashoggi's killers had paramilitary training in U.S.

A vigil for journalist Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, following his killing in 2018 in Turkey. Photo: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Several Saudis who took part in the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi had paramilitary training in the U.S. under a State Department contract a year before his 2018 death, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Why it matters: While there's no evidence the department knew that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sanctioned Saudi officials to detain, kidnap and torture dissidents in 2017, the approval of such training underscores how "intensely intertwined" the U.S. has become with a nation known for human rights abuses, per the NYT.

U.S. attorney finalist trashes Labor secretary

Rachael Rollins and Marty Walsh. Photos: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images (Rollins); Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images (Walsh)

A finalist for U.S. attorney in Boston is publicly trashing the city's former mayor — Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.

Why it matters: Rachael Rollins’ approach is perpetuating scrutiny of a troubled Cabinet secretary and fellow Democrat — and hints at the independence she may exhibit if tapped for top federal prosecutor for the eastern half of Massachusetts.