Tech billionaire investor Peter Thiel criticized major U.S. technology companies for being too cozy with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and called on them to undo their Chinese ties.
Thiel is also a co-founder of PayPal and a member of Facebook’s board of directors.
Turning a Blind EyeThiel also said that he spoke to Google insiders and was told that the internet search giant decided to work with China because “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.”
In another conversation with some “Google people,” Thiel said he asked whether Google’s AI technology was being used by the Chinese regime to run concentration camps in the far-western Xinjiang region.
Thiel said he was told, “We don’t know and don’t ask any questions.”
“It’s some combination of wishful thinking. It’s useful idiots, it’s CCP fifth columnist collaborators,” Thiel said about Google and other tech companies that have chosen to remain quiet on certain China issues.
“If you think of it ideologically or in terms of human rights or something like that, I’m tempted to say it’s just profoundly racist. It’s like saying that because they look different, they’re not white people, they don’t have the same rights.”
“Even though we are ahead of basic science of AI, China is willing to apply it and turn the entire society into a face recognition surveillance state that is far more intrusive and totalitarian than even Stalinist Russia was. That is something we are not willing to do,” Thiel said.
At Facebook, Thiel said it was difficult for the social media giant to take a tough stance on China because of its employee base—many of them were Chinese nationals. For instance, Thiel pointed to debates among employees about the Hong Kong protests in 2019.
“The employees from Hong Kong were all in favor of the protests and free speech, but there were more employees at Facebook who were born in China,” Thiel said.
“The Chinese nationals actually said that it was just Western arrogance and shouldn’t be taking Hong Kong’s side, and then the rest of the employees at Facebook sort of stayed out of it.
“But the internal debate felt like people were actually more anti-Hong Kong than pro-Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement began in June 2019 when millions took to the streets in protest against an extradition bill that would have allowed suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China for trial. The movement eventually evolved into a greater call for democracy such as universal suffrage, but protests subsided in early 2020 as Hong Kong was hit by the pandemic.
Calling Them OutPointing to Facebook as an example, Thiel said some U.S. tech companies had a difficult time taking a hard stance against China because of how they saw themselves.
“There’s something about the 'woke' politics inside these companies, the way they think of themselves as not really American companies.”
To stop China’s infiltration into the U.S. tech sector, Thiel has one recommendation: “Keep putting a certain amount of pressure on Silicon Valley. You need to call people out on that relentlessly.”
“We need to call companies like Google out on working on AI with communist China not with U.S. military,” he said. “I think we should be putting a lot of pressure on Apple with its whole labor force supply chain on the iPhone manufacturing in China.
“Apple is one that has real synergies with China.”
Google, Facebook, and Apple didn't immediately return requests by The Epoch Times for comment.