Sergey Brin made the admission as he was in Washington to ask U.S. senators to approve a plan that would safeguard "net neutrality," in which all Internet content is handled equally, The Times of London reported.
"We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles but provide ultimately more information for the Chinese and be a more effective service and perhaps make more of a difference," Brin said. "Perhaps now the principled approach makes more sense."
The Chinese government would only allow the company to launch Google.cn if it would filter out politically sensitive links, prompting the company to be labeled "a megaphone for communist propaganda" at a U.S. congressional hearing called after the move, the Times said.
Various estimates put the number of Internet users in China between 150 million and 200 million, the report said.