The Chinese military is benefiting from the work that Google is doing in China, the top US general said on Thursday, Reuters reports.
“The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quoted as saying during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington.
“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” he said. “Frankly, ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is, it is more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”
During the hearing, Republican Senator Josh Hawley sharply criticized Google, referring to it as “a supposedly American company.”
Technology companies have recently been a favorite target of many members of the US Congress, who have criticized them over a wide range of issues such as privacy, work in China and allowing foreign meddling in US elections.
Lawmakers and Google employees have raised concerns the company would comply with China’s internet censorship and surveillance policies if it re-enters the Asian nation’s search engine market.
Asked about Dunford’s comments, Google referred to previous statements.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has previously said the company has invested in China for years and plans to continue to do so, but that the company also was continuing to work with the US government on projects in healthcare, cybersecurity and other fields.
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