The United States’ top general said on Thursday that the Chinese military was benefiting from the work Alphabet Inc’s Google was doing in China, where the technology giant has long sought to have a bigger presence.
“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, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
“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.”
Last year Google said it was no longer vying for a $10 billion cloud computing contract with the U.S. Defense Department, in part because the company’s new ethical guidelines do not align with the project.
In June, Google said it would not renew a contract to help the U.S. military analyze aerial drone imagery when it expires, as the company sought to defuse an internal uproar over the deal.
At the same time, Google said it has “no plans” to relaunch a search engine in China, though it is continuing to study the idea.
During the hearing, Republican Senator Josh Hawley sharply criticized the tech company, referring to it as “a supposedly American company.”
Technology companies have recently been a favorite target of many members of the U.S. Congress, who have criticized them over a wide range of issues such as privacy, work in China and allowing foreign meddling in U.S. 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 Chief Executive 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 U.S. government on projects in health care, cybersecurity and other fields. (VOA)
The European Union’s antitrust regulators on Wednesday fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.
Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.
“Today the Commission has fined Google 1.49 billion euros for illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market for the brokering of online search adverts,” EC Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.
It is the third EU fine for Google in just two years.
“Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” Vestager said.
The Commission said the fine which is equivalent to 1.29 per cent of Google’s turnover in 2018 takes account of the duration and gravity of the infringement.
“The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate – and consumers the benefits of competition,” Vestager said.
Websites such as newspaper websites, blogs or travel sites aggregators often have a search function embedded.
When a user searches using this search function, the website delivers both search results and search adverts, which appear alongside the search result.
Through AdSense for Search, Google provides these search adverts to owners of “publisher” websites.
Google is an intermediary, like an advertising broker, between advertisers and website owners that want to profit from the space around their search results pages.
Therefore, AdSense for Search works as an online search advertising intermediation platform.