Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)‘s board member and tech investor, Peter Thiel, recently criticized Google LLC (NASDAQ:GOOGL) for allegedly working with the Chinese military. Thiel claimed that he has Google sources that tell him that Google is in the works with Chinese firms that might be linked to the Chinese military. These claims are especially directed at an artificial intelligence project partnership between Google and unnamed Chinese companies.
According to Thiel, there’s almost no difference between working with Chinese firms and the Chinese army because most tech companies in China are regulated and supported by the government. He fears that if this is the case, then the U.S. might be at a cybersecurity risk considering that Google also works with the U.S. Department of defense.
US and China trade war
The U.S. and China have been engaged in a quiet yet steamy cyber race. Both countries have been trying to establish dominance on the lucrative global cyberspace, and they’ve not been afraid to play some foul while at it.
This war’s climax was probably in 2019 when the U.S. banned American companies from working with Huawei and a few other Chinese companies for alleged security breaches. Huawei is a civilian-owned company, but many consider it a de facto branch of the Chinese government.
This ban also blocked the listed Chinese companies from acquiring services from American companies, which ended a cordial relationship between Google and Huawei. The Chinese government clapped back with denial of services to some huge U.S. tech firms like Microsoft and Amazon
Apple’s fear factor
Thiel also noted that Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) was soft with China because they do most of their production there. Additionally, Apple has a huge market for iPhones and Apple services in China.
Google, in their defense, claims that they’re not working with the Chinese military. They further say that their business with Chinese law firms will not affect their cyber-security work at the U.S. state department of defense.