In a Congressional antitrust hearing Wednesday, Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) asked four CEOs of leading tech companies whether the Chinese government steals technology from U.S. companies.
The Florida Republican asked Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, “Do you believe that the Chinese government steals technology from U.S. companies?”
According to CNN, the tech CEOs could not agree on a decisive response.
Pichai from Google said that he has “no firsthand knowledge of information stolen from Google in this regard” but later admitted that Google was the target of a Chinese-linked cyberattack in 2009.
Both Cook from Apple and Bezos from Amazon said they have not witnessed this firsthand, but Bezos commented that he has “heard many reports” of the Chinese government stealing American technology.
However, Mark Zuckerberg said with no hesitation that China does, in fact, commit intellectual property theft: “I think it’s well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from American companies.”
“If you look at where the top technology companies come from, a decade ago the vast majority were American,” Zuckerberg added, “Today, almost half are Chinese.”
This hearing comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has signaled a willingness to ban popular Chinese-based social media app TikTok after learning that the Chinese Communist Party has been using it to funnel private information.
The House voted last week to bar federal employees from downloading TikTok, which includes members of Congress and congressional staff. The amendment was included in a $742 billion defense policy bill.
Watch the video here: