Google really is trying to build a censored Chinese search engine, its CEO confirms

The project, code-named Dragonfly, is not only real but is already performing to the satisfaction of top Google executives. And it could pave the way for Google to reenter China’s online search market after nearly a decade.

“If Google were to operate in China, what would it look like? What queries will we be able to serve?” chief executive Sundar Pichai said during an event hosted by Wired on Monday night. “It turns out we’ll be able to serve well over 99 percent of the queries.”

The announcement could prompt more questions from U.S. policymakers, some of whom have accused Google of being evasive about Project Dragonfly. Meanwhile, Google and its peers in the tech industry are facing intense scrutiny over its approach to user privacy and data, with some federal lawmakers proposing legislation that could impose new restrictions on tech companies’ handling of customer information.