Eric Schmidt: Internet will split in two in the next decade

Cornelia Mascio
Settembre 22, 2018

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said that he believes the internet will split in two within a decade.

"I think the most likely scenario now is not a splintering, but rather a bifurcation into a Chinese-led internet and a non-Chinese internet led by America", he said.

If you think of China as like 'Oh yeah, they're good with the Internet, ' you're missing the point.

"If you look at China. the scale of the companies that are being built, the services".

Employees working on the censored search engine were instructed in late July that they should prepare to get it into a "launch-ready state", pending approval from officials in Beijing, The Intercept said. But he acknowledged the country's growing economic influence may have political consequences: "There's a real danger that along with those products and services comes a different leadership regime from government, with censorship, controls, etc.", CNBC reported.

He also said on Wednesday that other countries could end up adopting a Chinese model of the internet.

The Google exec, who served as CEO from 2001 through 2011, may have inside insight into industry trends, as the internet giant is reportedly developing a China-specific, censored version of the search engine in order to placate the government in Beijing. According to the New York Times, more than 1,400 workers signed an internal letter, calling on the company to create an oversight process to evaluate the China project and other plans that "raise urgent moral and ethical issues". The browser would allegedly be able to suppress certain search results.

Village Global and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

His remarks come at a precarious time for Google, as the company contemplates a return to the Chinese market, and draws criticism from its own employees and lawmakers for its supposed willingness to cooperate with China's censorship controls.

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