Google directly benefiting Chinese military, says top US general

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Thursday told a Senate panel that Google’s work in China is directly benefiting the nation’s military.

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“The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” Gen. Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Indirect maybe not be a full characterization of the way it is. It’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.

Google has faced internal and external pressure over work on a censored search engine – labeled as “Project Dragonfly” -- that would allow the tech giant to return to China after leaving in 2010 over human rights concerns.

While media reports previously suggested the project continues, a spokeswoman said there are “no plans to launch in China and there is no work being undertaken on such a project.”

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CEO Sundar Pichai previously said the initiative was in the “very early” stages and maintained that Google intends to continue to expand in China.

"The technology that is developed in the civilian world transfers to the military world," acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told the panel. "There’s also systemtic theft of U.S. technology that facilitates even faster development of emerging technology."

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The Mountain View, California-based company in 2018 removed itself from consideration for a $10 billion cloud computing contract with the U.S. Defense Department due to ethical concerns. It also opted not to extend a contract with the Pentagon to assist in the analysis of drone images.