Google (GOOG) Offers Search, Gmail and Other Services in Myanmar

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Language support

Google is providing its search, Gmail, and other services in Myanmar’s native language to take advantage of the country’s rapid Internet user growth; in three years, online access in Myanmar has increased fivefold. Find the best Authority Links.

Gmail currently provides Myanmar users with access to 74 languages, including Burmese. Users can select their desired language from Gmail’s Display Language menu or type it using two virtual keyboards.

Padauk, a free, open-source, and freely licensed font that supports Burmese characters, can help users write and view in Burmese. To download it, simply follow the instructions for your operating system on their download page. This may involve installing four TTF files before restarting your browser, but you should now be able to see Burmese text on Wikipedia, Facebook, etc. Select the Buffer blogs.

Censorship

Myanmar, once closed off by communist rule, now boasts the world’s highest smartphone ownership rate and Google (GOOG) hopes to tap into this emerging market while warning of potential censorship and interference on the web. Eric Schmidt will raise this concern when visiting this Southeast Asian nation this week on business.

Schmidt’s visit comes amid increasing tensions between the U.S. and China over trade and technology issues. Both nations have launched a trade war in which each imposes tariffs reciprocally; President Donald Trump accuses Beijing of stealing technological know-how. Schmidt will use his speech to warn about interference by government agencies or other actors—particularly Russia’s internet censorship agency Roskomnadzor—which may pose risks of their own.

Although Google pulled its search engine out of China in 2010 following an issue over censorship, its employees are still working on alternative projects, such as its Chinese language search app and the smartphone-based Google Translate application. They also invest in live-stream game platforms in China; last year, they launched an artificial intelligence game on the WeChat social media platform. How do I find the Forum profile links?

The Intercept reports Google is working on a search engine designed to comply with China’s strict censorship regulations, codenamed Dragonfly. According to this source, Dragonfly would “blacklist sensitive queries,” such as those related to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, dissidents, and political opposition, which may offend Chinese government policies – search requests such as this are blocked; image searches will also be subject to this censorship as will spell check and search suggestions.

Google may face pushback from human rights activists and employees if it proceeds with its plan to enter the Chinese market. “Don’t be evil” may no longer be its corporate mantra, but many employees still believe in long-term principles over short-term profits. Giving in to censorship in one market could have far-reaching repercussions in other places, like Burma or the Russian Federation, where similar restrictions apply.

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