Google CEO Sundar Pichai faced questions about the company’s work with China in early lines of questioning at Wednesday’s hearing.
Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., asked Pichai about Google’s $10 billion cloud project deal with the Department of Defense’s JEDI, or Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, which it dropped out of in 2018. Google’s former cloud chief told employees in 2018 that the company would not renew a different U.S. Defense contract after it was set to expire in March 2019.
Buck asked Pichai why the company dropped those and related projects but did work on projects such as Dragonfly, which was a China-specific search engine that it ultimately abandoned in 2018 after employee protest. An aide behind Buck held up a poster of a drone image of footage of China during the questioning.
Buck said he wanted to ask what values Google and communists and China have in common.
“Did Google align with the Chinese policies to suppress information?” Buck asked Pichai in a series of questions. “Do you think Google could get away with China’s corporate espionage playbook?”
Pichai answered by describing how it partners with United States agencies and was adamant about not serving customers in China in the present day with the exception of a small number of projects.
“We are proud to support the U.S. government,” Pichai said, adding that the company has projects with the Navy and other branches. He added that it doesn’t offer any of its services in China.
Pichai said he would address the current partnerships further if Buck wished to follow up.
By Jennifer Elias (CNBC)
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai responds to a question from Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) about it’s ‘monopolistic advantage during a hearing in front of the House antitrust subcommittee.
Rep. Buck Introduces House Legislation to Hold American Companies Accountable for Slave Labor
Today, Congressman Ken Buck (R-Colo.) introduced House companion legislation that holds American corporations accountable to forced labor in their supply chains. Led by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) in the Senate, The Slave-Free Business Certification Act requires CEOs to certify that their supply chains are free of slave labor or that they have reported all instances of forced labor in their companies.
“It’s time we expose these ‘woke’ executives of American companies who pride themselves on their so-called progressive policies while they outsource supply chains to Chinese concentration camps,” Rep. Buck said. “I’m proud to join Senator Hawley in this effort to hold corporations accountable for having slave labor in their supply chains. If Corporate America truly wants to be socially responsible, they must certify that they are slave free.”
“Corporate America and the celebrities that hawk their products have been playing this game for a long time – talk up corporate social responsibility and social justice at home while making millions of dollars off the slave labor that assembles their products. Executives build woke, progressive brands for American consumers, but happily outsource labor to Chinese concentration camps, all just to save a few bucks,” Senator Hawley said. “If corporate America wants to be the face of social change today, they should have to certify they are completely slave-free. Participate in independent audits to verify it and disclose steps to ensure slave labor won’t become part of the equation later on. And if they refuse to do so, they should pay the price. That’s social responsibility.”
Source: US House of Representatives
Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz questions Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai during House hearing on Google’s direct cooperation with the Chinese military to undermine US security.
Edited by staff