During yesterday’s hearing before the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, the CEOs of Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook were unable to agree on whether or not China has been stealing technology and intellectual property (IP) from American companies. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave the only honest and straightforward answer to Rep. Greg Steube’s question, answering: “I think it’s well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from American companies.”
Yesterday, the CEO’s of the most powerful tech companies in the country, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, appeared before the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel to discuss the market dominance of their firms and issues relating to censorship on their platforms. During the hearing, the CEOs were asked about whether or not they believe that the Chinese government steals technology from U.S. companies. The response was far from unanimous.
Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) asked the tech CEO’s during the hearing: “Do you believe that the Chinese government steals technology from U.S. companies?” Apple CEO Tim Cook responded in a neutral manner, focusing on his own company instead of the industry in general, stating: “I don’t know of specific cases where we have been stolen from by the government. I know of no case [of] ours where it occurred … I can only speak to firsthand knowledge.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who’s company briefly attempted to launch a Chinese government-censored search engine, replied: “I have no firsthand knowledge of any information stolen from Google in this regard,” before later correcting himself, stating that Google acknowledged a China-linked cyberattack in 2009 in which a portion of the firm’s intellectual property was stolen.
Amazon CEO and richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, responded that he had “heard many reports of that” but added: “I haven’t seen it personally.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, however, gave an extremely straightforward response stating: “I think it’s well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from American companies.”
Zuckerberg made a point to note that China has been catching up to the U.S. in terms of tech dominance, stating: “If you look at where the top technology companies come from, a decade ago the vast majority were American. Today, almost half are Chinese.”
However, despite acknowledging the issue, neither Zuckerberg nor the other tech CEO’s had any response to Steube when he asked how Congress could protect American companies from “aggression and government intervention abroad.” Steube waited for 15 seconds in silence as the tech CEO’s failed to answer before yielding the rest of his time.
Read more about yesterday’s hearing at Breitbart News here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org