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Google’s CEO will meet with the US general who said the company is ‘indirectly benefiting the Chinese military’

Google CEO Sundar Pichai will meet with Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford Wednesday after the military chief said the company is “indirectly benefiting the Chinese military” through its work there.

“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” Dunford told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee at a hearing on March 14. “The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military.”

At an event last week, Dunford announced he had at least two meetings planned with Google. A source confirmed to CNBC that Dunford will meet with Pichai in D.C. on Wednesday. Google and a Department of Defense spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Google has slowly renewed its efforts in China after withdrawing its search service from the country in 2010 amid growing concern about censorship and cyber attacks. Lawmakers and Google employees were outraged when details for the company’s plans for a censored search engine in China leaked and were reported by The Intercept.

Meanwhile, tech employees working for Google and other giants like Microsofthave sparked internal backlash over their companies’ decisions to provide work with the U.S. defense department, arguing they did not choose to develop products that could be used in warfare.

Google employees protested a partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense called Project Maven, which involved developing AI surveillance tools to analyze drone footage. The company told employees in June 2018 that it would not renew its contract for the project. In October, Google dropped out of the competition for a different Pentagon cloud computing contract that could be worth $10 billion, saying the contract could conflict with its values.

-CNBC’s Josh Lipton and Amanda Macias contributed to this report.
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1 comment:

  1. I think it's a good idea for Google not to get involved within Chinese search. Since China is so involved with censorship, I don't think that any United States company should be in that space.