What happened: Google has denied claims it is working with the Chinese military following public criticism from US President Donald Trump, who tweeted on Sunday that the company is “helping China and their military, but not the US.” Trump’s remarks came just days after Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest-ranking military advisory committee in the US, testified before Congress that China is benefiting from Google’s involvement in the country.
Why it’s important: Trump’s comments highlight a sore point. He obviously views Google as not having fallen in line with his “America first” rhetoric. The company has opted to drop a contract to help the US military analyze aerial drone footage. It has also said it would no longer pursue a $10 billion cloud computing deal with the Department of Defense, saying its ethical guidelines aren’t aligned with the project. Meanwhile, Google has been exploring a China-focused search product dubbed “Project Dragonfly.” The company says it has no plans to launch the search engine, although work seems to be ongoing, as Google eyes the world’s largest internet population.