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Peter Thiel, a Renegade Venture Capitalist billionaire tech entrepreneur and advisor to President Trump wants Google investigated for their allegedly treasonous actions in China.
Renegade Venture Capitalist billionaire tech entrepreneur who is also an ardent Trump supporter, Peter Thiel, called on the CIA and FBI to investigate Google. He wants the company investigated for a ‘seemingly treasonous’ decision that is related to its works in China.
Thiel’s speech at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. tackled the burning questions. These were urgent questions according to a report in Axios that Google must answer. He wants to know how deeply Google’s Manhattan AI project has been penetrated by Chinese intelligence agents. The billionaire seeks to learn if that is the reason why Google has dived into the:
“Seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not the US military”
The investor’s questions add stress to the already mounting pressure Google is facing due to its work in China.
What is the Impact of Peter Thiel’s Comments?
Peter Thiel is significant in this context since he is a major investor and entrepreneur who notably co-founded PayPal. Currently, he is a Facebook board member who is also a high profile Trump supporter. His comments target Google at a time of an elevated US-China trade war.
These calls for federal investigations into Google’s work in China will increase pressure on the company as Trump cranks up the war against big tech. It will be interesting to see where his loyalty will lie when it comes to Facebook vs. Trump. That confrontation seems imminent particularly after President Trump’s recent tirade on Twitter opposing Libra cryptocurrency.
The rebel billionaire’s comments may lead to a federal investigation into Google’s actions in China if a powerful politician decides to run with it. But, the comments are guaranteed to pressure the tech behemoth to come clean explaining what is involved in its AI research in China.
Google in China
Many ask what Google is doing in China and the answer is: many things. The Intercept leaked documents in 2018 showing that Google was creating a censored search engine app in China. The app goes by the name Dragonfly. That incident caused major protests among Google employees. Some 1,400 employees signed a protest letter demanding more details on what that project entailed.
Google has since then claimed that work on Dragonfly has ended. However, not everyone is convinced. The tech giant has gone ahead to open an artificial intelligence research center in Beijing. Google announced in March that it would stop working with the Pentagon on a project to enable AI to analyze drone footage.
After that announcement, Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congres that:
“The work Google is doing in China is indirectly benefitting the Chinese military. In fact, it’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”
Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, countered with comments stating that Google is not developing any Artificial Intelligence for use in weapons. That may not be believable among American political and military elites who know that Chinese companies and the state are deeply interwoven.
Though no reliable reports show that Chinese intelligence agents have infiltrated Google, Thiel’s Palantir data-mining company works hand-in-hand with the Trump administration. Does he know some inside information that the public does not? That is still a mystery. But since he is an advisor to Trump, his concerns will soon be known to the President if they are not yet known already.
Google Stock News Update
Peter Thiel’s comments seem to have had no significant effect on the Alphabet (GOOGL) stock. The share price is showing a slight upward trend currently hovering around $1,150.51 gaining around 0.45% in the past 24 hours. Alphabet Inc.’s market cap stands at $798.58B at the moment.