The question of ‘patriotism’ in U.S.-China tech collaboration

In July, billionaire investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel called for an FBI and CIA investigation of Google, saying the company was “treasonous” for allegedly working with the Chinese military instead of the U.S. military.

Thiel’s accusations were rejected by Treasury Secretary Steven T.
Mnuchin, who said he and President Trump had met with Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the White House and found no evidence of Google working with the Chinese government or military.

Thiel has been criticized for trying to stoke U.S.-China trade war tensions for his own business advantage. But his comments were also indicative of a changing landscape in U.S.-China tech collaboration, as growing distrust between the two superpowers causes American companies and institutions to reconsider what safeguards should be in place to ensure that working with Chinese partners does not impinge on national security or human rights.

Several U.S. lawmakers — both Democrats and Republicans

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