The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump has said that he wants his administration to take a look into whether Google has been working with the Chinese government. Trump recently echoed an unverified remark from a tech billionaire named Peter Thiel who said that Google had been working with the Chinese government or military establishment.
Trump in a Twitter post said, “Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason. A great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone! The Trump Administration will take a look!”
The search giant, however, has denied these allegations and said that these allegations question the motives of Thiel, who is a longtime supporter and is also on the board of tech rival Facebook. Google in a statement to AFP said, “As we have said before, we do not work with the Chinese military”.
Google in 2010 pulled its search engine from China to protest efforts by Beijing to censor its search results. It recently began developing a modified version of its search engine for China but later said that the company had no plans to deploy it.
The US president has many times criticized the search giant, claiming the platform to be biased against him and his supporters. Earlier this year, he said criticized Google for withdrawing from the bidding from a major Pentagon computing contract, but later softened the criticism after meeting Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. Google’s business operations in China are limited, but according to one report published this year, one of the company’s scientist took part in a research project that could have both civilian and military applications.
It is important to mention here that Google has been complying with the Trump orders regarding China and its companies. Previously when Trump imposed a trade ban on Chinese tech giant Huawei, Google also halted its business operation with Huawei, ending Android support for its smartphones. This further raises a question as to why Google will end support for a Chinese company if it was working with the Chinese government in the first place.