Internet will be split between US and China by 2028 - ex-Google chief

The internet will be split between China and the United States within a decade, the former CEO of Google says.  

There will be two distinct versions of the internet by 2028, with China's version being much more restricted, Daily Mail reports citing ex-Google chief Eric Schmidt. 

This is already happening to a degree under China's so-called Great Fire Wall, whereby citizens are blocked from accessing popular Western websites including Facebook, Google and YouTube. 

People in China can instead access the likes of Baidu, the world's eighth-largest internet company by revenue, which is China's answer to Google. 

The ex-Google chief told a technology conference in San Francisco last week that 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." 

"Chinese internet is a greater percentage of the GDP of China, which is a big number, than the same percentage of the US, which is also a big number," said Mr Schmidt, who was CEO of Google from 2001 to 2017. 

He said the world will see "fantastic leadership in products and services" from China in the coming years. But he said other nations should be weary that, along with those products and services, could come "censorship and controls." 

Chinese technology giants ZTE and Huawei have already been banned from use by the US government and government contractors, over security concerns. Both companies were called a national security threat in a 2012 US House Intelligence report.  

In January, Mr Schmidt told an audience at BBC's Tomorrow's World Live in London that he was concerned about China and Russia making leads on artificial intelligence. 

"I think that both the Russian and the Chinese leaders have recognised the value of this, not just for their commercial aspirations, but also their military aspirations," he said.