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  • China's military is getting stronger,

  • and it needs foreign technology.

  • Is Google helping the Chinese military?

  • Welcome back to China Uncensored.

  • I'm Chris Chappell.

  • Google.

  • It's not the first Western company

  • to do business in China

  • not by a long shot.

  • But when it comes to tech companies,

  • Google was always the good guy,

  • with its famous motto,

  • Don't be evil.”

  • That is, until Google

  • conveniently removed that motto last year.

  • And you may also remember,

  • a few months later,

  • employees leaked Google's plans

  • to launch a censored search engine for China.

  • And then Google employees protested,

  • saying launching a censored Chinese search engine

  • would definitely be evil.

  • Obviously they missed the point.

  • It's ok for Google to be evil

  • now that they've changed their motto!

  • Sadly, Google is under fire again.

  • This time, from President Trump.

  • And while it's not exactly for being evil,

  • it *is* for beingterrible”.

  • Google is helping China and their military,

  • but not the U.S. Terrible!”

  • Like many of Trump's tweets,

  • this was met by some...skepticism from the media.

  • In an article calledTrump Now Just Accusing Google

  • of Aiding the Chinese Military, or Whatever,”

  • tech news website Gizmodo wrote that

  • Most likely...the president heard

  • some kind of sound bite about Google and China...

  • but did not mull the specifics

  • before using it as an opportunity

  • to lob another wild accusation at the company.”

  • To be fair, it *is* hard to picture Trump

  • mulling the specificsbefore tweeting anything.

  • He's more the kind of guy who tweets from the hip.

  • But is saying that Google is helping China's military

  • just a wild accusation?

  • Some people don't think so.

  • Like the highest-ranking military officer in the US.

  • The work that Google is doing in China

  • is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military…”

  • We watch with great concern

  • when industry partners work with China

  • knowing there is an indirect benefit,

  • frankly, indirect, may be not

  • a full categorization of the way it really is.

  • It's more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

  • Google's connections to the Chinese military

  • are not obvious.

  • It's not like they did a blog post about it.

  • To be clear,

  • this is not a real Google blog post.

  • But the photo is real.

  • It was taken while Google's CEO

  • was speaking at the very real

  • state-sponsoredGlobal Internet Conference

  • held in Wuzhen, China in 2017.

  • Because nothing screams a free and open global internet,

  • like being sponsored by the Chinese Communist Party.

  • At the conference,

  • Google's CEO told the audience that, quote

  • “A lot of work Google does is to help Chinese companies”.

  • And Google's work with Chinese companies

  • is how Googleindirectly

  • is helping China's military.

  • Or to be more accurate,

  • China's People's Liberation Army,

  • which belongs directly to the Chinese Communist Party.

  • That same People's Liberation Army

  • has threatened the United States,

  • and stolen untold amounts of US military secrets.

  • Looking into this, we found at least two ways

  • that Google has been indirectly supporting

  • the People's Liberation Armythe PLA.

  • Here's the first way.

  • Google has invested more than

  • half a billion dollars in JD.com,

  • which owns JD Logistics.

  • According to state-run media,

  • back in 2017,

  • the PLA Air Force signed a major agreement

  • tocooperate with five Chinese non-military companies

  • [including JD Logistics] to upgrade

  • civil-military logistics integration.”

  • It looks like that partnership includes

  • using JD's drones and logistics software

  • to deliver supplies for the air force.

  • Chinesestate-media hailed

  • the JD.com [PLA Air Force] partnership

  • as an 'innovative specimen of civil-military fusion.'”

  • And last year JD logistics signed a similar agreement

  • with the PLA land forces.

  • And since Google owns half a billion dollars of JD.com,

  • which owns a majority share in JD Logistics,

  • it's a bit like Google is partnering with the PLA.

  • Indirectly.

  • I know what you're thinking.

  • Who cares about logistics and supply chains?

  • Besides every military in the world.

  • Anyway, I'm sure JD.com is happy to be

  • directly helping the PLA.

  • Its CEO, Liu Qiangdong,

  • is a celebrated Communist Party member.

  • Andcivil-military fusionis one of Xi Jinping's

  • key national strategies right now.

  • It means private Chinese companies

  • are supposed to help the military.

  • Win-win cooperation.

  • For the military.

  • So Google is partnered with a Chinese company

  • that has strong links to the Communist Party,

  • and is helping the PLA with logistics.

  • Terrific.

  • Here's the second way Google been

  • indirectly supporting China's military:

  • Artificial Intelligence.

  • At the end of 2017, Google opened up

  • an Artificial Intelligence research lab in Beijing,

  • becausescience has no borders.”

  • The Chinese military would agree,

  • because it doesn't recognize borders

  • between civilian and military technology.

  • It's that wholecivil-militaryfusion thing again.

  • As former US Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said,

  • Anything that's going on in [Google's AI center in China]

  • is going to be used by the military.”

  • And anyone who's worked on AI programming knows,

  • it's a highly collaborative process

  • where a lot of people share data to train their bots.

  • So why would Google set up an AI Center in China?

  • Well, one reason might be that they have access

  • to huge amounts of data there,

  • and aren't so restricted by America's

  • or Europe's pesky privacy laws.

  • Google is also hiring

  • a large number of local employees.

  • As of last August,

  • Google had 700 employees in China.

  • Now I don't know for sure if Google

  • has a Communist Party branch,

  • but in theory,

  • companies in China,

  • including foreign firms,

  • are required by law to establish a party organization.”

  • Plus Google has been encouraging

  • Chinese developers to use TensorFlow

  • a Google software library useful for AI development.

  • As China researcher Matthew Robertson puts it,

  • Aside from meeting Google's own research needs,

  • [Google's AI China Center] will without doubt

  • also help fertilize China's own AI ambitions and talent.”

  • And China's military is rushing to use

  • artificial intelligence

  • so they'll be needing that talent.

  • So while Google's AI research in China

  • may not directly support China's military,

  • the AI technology Google develops in China

  • will almost certainly be *used* by China's military.

  • If Google doesn't share technology

  • with the Chinese military directly,

  • its Chinese partners will.

  • I mean, how could Chinese tech companies say no?

  • Seriously, they're not allowed to say no to the Party.

  • So there you have it:

  • Google is partnering with JD.com,

  • which partners with the PLA.

  • And Google is partnering with Chinese AI companies

  • to develop technology

  • that will be almost certainly used by the PLA.

  • We did reach out to Google for their response

  • specifically about the AI Center in China

  • and their partnership with JD.com.

  • They didn't reply about those things directly,

  • but they *did* send us this two-sentence

  • cookie-cutter statement attributable to

  • “a Google spokesperson.”

  • It says,

  • We are not working with the Chinese military.

  • We are working with the U.S. government,

  • including the Department of Defense,

  • in many areas including cybersecurity,

  • recruiting and healthcare.”

  • No mention, though,

  • of how Google canceled Project Maven.

  • That was a partnership with the Department of Defense

  • that supplied imaging tools

  • used by American military drones.

  • Google stopped project Maven

  • because lots of employees protested it.

  • They didn't want Google's technology

  • to be used for weapons.

  • Not for American weapons at least.

  • So when Trump tweeted that

  • Google is helping China and their military,

  • but not the U.S.

  • Terrible,”

  • he's mostly right.

  • It is terrible.

  • Of course, Google is in a tough spot.

  • Even if it develops technology

  • entirely for private use,

  • the Chinese military can still buy it

  • or co-opt it for weapons.

  • But no one forced Google

  • to set up an office in Beijing,

  • or to partner with Chinese tech companies

  • that have ties to the Chinese military

  • at a time when the Communist Party

  • is demandingcivil-military fusion.”

  • Now just to be clear,

  • Google is not the only US tech company

  • to have questionable dealings in China.

  • In fact, I could make a whole video out of that,

  • starting with Cisco,

  • which basically built China's Great Firewall.

  • Let me know in the comments below

  • if you'd like to see that video.

  • But I think we're all just

  • a little more disappointed in Google,

  • especially since it pulled out of China in 2010,

  • seemingly out of principle.

  • But I guess access to that sweet, sweet China market

  • is one of the benefits to removing

  • Don't be evilfrom your motto.

  • So what do you think of Google's

  • indirect support of the Chinese military?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • And before we go,

  • it's time for me to answer a question

  • from a fan who supports China Uncensored

  • through the crowdfunding website Patreon.

  • BlueFox asks:

  • Hey Chris, what's your zombie plan?”

  • That's a good question,

  • given that my last episode was about

  • China's zombie apocalypse.

  • Well, zombie *company* apocalypse.

  • Sort of different.

  • But if there were a real zombie attack,

  • I'd just head on over to

  • the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

  • It's ranked one of 8 buildings around the world

  • to help you survive the apocalypse

  • because it hasrelatively few windows

  • and is made of concrete.”

  • It sure is ugly,

  • but it'll do in a pinch.

  • I'll just wait there for the zombies

  • to eat the rest of New York.

  • And when they're in a serious food coma,

  • I'll make my way to the survivor's colony in Vermont.

  • It works in movies, right?

  • Thanks for your question, BlueFox.

  • And thank *you* to all of our supporters

  • who contribute a dollar or more per episode