More: Google official says it told Chinese company Adups to remove surveillance ability from phones that run services like Google Play; this would not include devices in China, where Google doesn't operate - New York Times
Google is an American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products that include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software, and hardware. Most of its profits are derived from AdWords, an online advertising service that places advertising near the list of search results.
Google was founded in 1996 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, California. Together, they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through supervoting stock. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. An initial public offering (IPO) took place on August 19, 2004, and Google moved to its new headquarters in Mountain View, California, nicknamed the Googleplex.
In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its interests as a holding company called Alphabet Inc. When this restructuring took place on October 2, 2015, Google became Alphabet's leading subsidiary, as well as the parent for Google's Internet interests.
Rapid growth since incorporation has triggered a chain of products, acquisitions and partnerships beyond Google's core search engine (Google Search). It offers services designed for work and productivity (Google Docs, Sheets and Slides), email (Gmail), scheduling and time management (Google Calendar), cloud storage (Google Drive), social networking (Google+), instant messaging and video chat (Google Allo/Duo/Hangouts), language translation (Google Translate), mapping and turn-by-turn navigation (Google Maps), video-sharing (YouTube), taking notes (Google Keep), organizing and editing photos (Google Photos), and a web browser (Google Chrome). The company leads the development of the Android mobile operating system and the browser-only Chrome OS for a class of netbooks known as Chromebooks and desktop PCs known as Chromeboxes. Google has moved increasingly into hardware; from 2010 to 2015, it partnered with major electronics manufacturers in the production of its Nexus devices, and in October 2016, it launched multiple hardware products (the Google Pixel, Home, Wifi, and Daydream View), with new hardware chief Rick Osterloh stating that "a lot of the innovation that we want to do now ends up requiring controlling the end-to-end user experience". In 2012, a fiber-optic infrastructure was installed in Kansas City to facilitate a Google Fiber broadband service, and in 2016, the company launched the Google Station initiative to make public "high-quality, secure, easily accessible Wi-Fi" around the world, which had already started, and become a success, in India.
Google has been estimated to run more than one million servers in data centers around the world (as of 2007). It processes over one billion search requests and about 24 petabytes of user-generated data each day (as of 2009). In December 2013, Alexa listed Google.com as the most visited website in the world. Numerous Google sites in other languages figure in the top one hundred, as do several other Google-owned sites such as YouTube and Blogger.
Google has been the second most valuable brand in the world for 4 consecutive years, and has a valuation in 2016 at $133 billion. Google's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," and its unofficial slogan was "Don't be evil". In October 2015, the motto was replaced in the Alphabet corporate code of conduct by the phrase: "Do the right thing". Google's commitment to such robust idealism has been increasingly called into doubt due to a number of actions and behaviours which appear to contradict this.