Peter Thiel criticizes Google and Apple for being too close to China

Peter Thiel, co-founder and chairman of Palantir Technologies Inc., speaks throughout a information convention in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019.

Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tech investor Peter Thiel criticized large U.S. expertise corporations for being too close to China at a Tuesday look at a digital occasion held by the Richard Nixon Foundation.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and sits on Facebook‘s board after making an early funding, is an outspoken voice within the expertise funding world is understood for contrarian opinions and conservative leanings. He’s backed protection contractors like Palantir and publicly supported former President Donald Trump’s 2016 marketing campaign for president.

On Wednesday, the Nixon session targeted on China, and he was joined by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.

Thiel criticized Google for its work on synthetic intelligence with Chinese universities, partially due to conversations he claimed to have with firm insiders, in accordance to a transcript of the occasion reviewed by CNBC.

“Since everything in China is a civilian- military fusion, Google was effectively working with the Chinese military, not with the American military,” Thiel mentioned. He additionally unhappy that Google “insiders” instructed him that they labored with the Chinese as a result of “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.”

A Google spokesperson instructed CNBC: “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.”

Thiel had beforehand criticized Google in 2019, saying that the FBI and CIA ought to examine Google and ask whether or not it had been compromised by Chinese spies.

Thiel additionally mentioned that Apple was unlikely to confront China due to its large provide chain to manufacture iPhones and different merchandise within the nation. He famous that different large expertise corporations like Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft haven’t got as intensive enterprise pursuits within the nation, in some circumstances as a result of the Chinese authorities has restricted what they will do there.

He known as for the U.S. to put a “lot of pressure” and scrutiny on Apple due to its labor provide chain within the nation.

Apple is probably the one that’s structurally a real problem, because the whole iPhone supply chain gets made from China,” Thiel mentioned. “Apple is one that has real synergies with China.”

He additionally appeared to change his place on Bitcoin through the discuss. Thiel has invested in Bitcoin corporations and previously said he was “long bitcoin” and considers it the “digital equivalent of gold.”

On Tuesday, Thiel mentioned that Bitcoin threatens the U.S. greenback.

“Even though I’m sort of a pro-crypto, pro-Bitcoin maximalist person, I do wonder whether at this point Bitcoin should also be thought in part of as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S., where it threatens fiat money, but it especially threatens the U.S. dollar, and China wants to do things to weaken it, so China’s long Bitcoin,” Thiel mentioned.

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