Peter Thiel’s China Warning: Big tech companies are too cozy with China; says ‘treasonous’ Google is “working with the Chinese military”
Peter Thiel is a renowned billionaire tech investor and a co-founder of PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund. He was the first outside investor in Facebook. He currently sits on Facebook’s board after making an early investment.
Often colloquially referred to as the “Don of the PayPal Mafia” in Silicon Valley circles, Thiel is an outspoken voice in the technology investment world is known for contrarian opinions. In 2019, he was the first person to ask the FBI and CIA to look into whether Google had been compromised by Chinese spies. As we reported back then, Thiel called Google ‘treasonous’ and asked the FBI and CIA to investigate the search giant.
Fast forward two years later, Thiel is sounding the alarm about American big tech companies. At a Tuesday appearance at a virtual event held by the Richard Nixon Foundation, Peter Thiel criticizes Google and Apple for being too close to China.
Thiel said Google is “effectively working with the Chinese military” through its artificial intelligence work with Chinese universities, a charge that Google denies as “baseless.” The venture capitalist also said Apple is unlikely to confront China because of its supply chain in the country.
“Since everything in China is a civilian-military fusion, Google was effectively working with the Chinese military, not with the American military,” Thiel said. He also said that Google “insiders” told him that they worked with the Chinese because “they figured they might as well give the technology out the front door, because if they didn’t give it – it would get stolen anyway.”
Responding to Thiel’s comment, a Google spokesperson said, “These allegations are baseless. We do not work with the Chinese military. We are proud to continue our long history of work with the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, in many areas including cybersecurity, recruiting and healthcare.”