Peter Thiel, co-founder and chairman of Palantir Technologies Inc., speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan on Monday, November 18, 2019.
Kiyoshiota | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tech investor Peter Thiel has criticized major US technology companies for being too close to China in Tuesday̵7;s appearance at a virtual reality event hosted by the Richard Nixon Foundation.
Thiel, the PayPal co-founder and sitting on Facebook’s board after making early investments, was an outspoken voice in the tech investment world, known for disagreement and conservative bias. He has supported defense contractors such as Palantir and supported the former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
On Wednesday, the Nixon session focused on China and he was joined by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.
Thiel criticized Google for working in artificial intelligence with Chinese universities, in part because of the conversations he claimed to have with people at the company, according to a record of incidents reviewed by CNBC.
“Because everything in China is a mix of civilians and military, Google works effectively with the Chinese military, not with the American army,” Thiel said. Chinese because I thought they might have the technology out to the front door as well, because if they didn’t, it would have been stolen anyway.
Thiel previously criticized Google in 2019, saying the FBI and CIA should investigate Google and ask if Chinese spies invade.
A Google spokesperson said at the time: “As we have said before, we are not working with the Chinese military.”
Thiel also said Apple is unlikely to face China due to the massive supply chain producing iPhones and other products in the country.He noted that other big tech companies such as Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft had no business interest. That is broad in the country in some cases because the Chinese government has limited what they can do there.
He called on the US to “put pressure” and scrutiny on Apple because of the domestic labor supply chain.
“Apple seems to be a really structured issue because the entire iPhone supply chain is made in China, ”Thiel said.“ Apple is the only one that has a real synergy with China. ”
He also appears to have changed his position on Bitcoin. During the talk, Thiel invested in bitcoin and previously said he was a “long bitcoin” and thought it was. “Digital equivalent to gold”
On Tuesday, Thiel said that Bitcoin threatened the US dollar.
“Even though I am a professional crypto expert. But I was wondering if at this point, Bitcoin should be seen as China’s financial weapon against the United States, where it threatens fiat money, but especially threatens the US dollar and that China wants to do things to keep the dollar soft. The value is down, so China’s long-standing Bitcoin, ”Thiel said.