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

Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.