What happened: The Chinese military is benefiting from Google’s work in the country, according to Joseph Dunford, marine general and chairperson of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking military advisory committee in the US. He said that the panel is watching with “great concern” as US companies work in China while knowing that the country gains from their presence.
Why it’s important: Google has invested in China for years and will continue to do so, according to the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai. News broke last year that Google had been working on a search product for the Chinese market, though research has supposedly been put on hold. The program, dubbed Dragonfly, sparked dissent among Google employees and concern from US lawmakers, who said that for the company to offer the service in China, it would have to comply with the country’s censorship and surveillance policies. Meanwhile, Google has opted to drop contracts with the US military to help them analyze aerial drone footage. Google also said it would no longer pursue a $10 billion cloud computing deal with the US Department of Defense, as its ethical guidelines do not align with the project.