The news comes on the heels of accusations in the media that the US-based tech giant had indirectly provided help to the Chinese military by conducting business in the Asian nation.
….Also discussed political fairness and various things that @Google can do for our Country. Meeting ended very well!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 27 March 2019
On 14 March, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford told Congress that the Pentagon is concerned that Google is indirectly helping to advance the Chinese military by working in the country.
US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan explained that there is a direct link between commercial business and military development. He also claimed that the systematic theft of US technology by Chinese entities is accelerating Beijing's technological advancements in the defense sector.
Google publicly exited the Chinese market in 2010, citing concerns about the repression of freedom of expression online. However, the company has reportedly been mulling whether to re-enter that market.
The alleged violations of intellectual property rights have, in particular, soured China's relations with the United States, with the issue being among those that prompted Trump to unleash a trade war on Beijing.