Google scrambled to delete an internal memo circulating among employees with details about its proposed censored search app for China that showed that plans were farther along than company executives had previously indicated, The Intercept reports.
The memo, written by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the product, started circulating earlier this month, before human resources contacted employees believed to have read or saved it, and told them to immediately delete any copies. The document reportedly highlighted that information about the project on internal company networks seemed to contradict recent comments from Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
"We are not close to launching a search product in China and whether we would do so or could so so is all very unclear," Pichai said at an internal all-hands meeting in mid-August, according to a transcript obtained by CNBC. "But the team has been in an exploration stage for quite a while now, and I think they are exploring many options."
However, the memo indicated that employees working on the project were told in late July to prepare to get it in "launch-ready state" to roll out upon approval from Beijing officials, according to The Intercept.