Venture capitalist and tech investor Peter Thiel has criticized U.S. technology giants Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as well as the cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) for working against U.S. interests and in favor of China, according to a report by Bloomberg.
What Happened: During an appearance at a virtual event held by the Richard Nixon Foundation, Thiel said he thinks Bitcoin may be undermining America.
“I do wonder whether at this point, Bitcoin should also be thought of in part as a Chinese financial weapon against the U.S.,” Thiel was quoted as saying.
During the talk which was largely focused on U.S.-China relations, Thiel reportedly said he had asked employees working in Google’s artificial intelligence division whether the company’s technology was being used in China’s Xinjiang region, but they said they were not aware. Thiel has previously accused Google of working against American interests in 2019.
Thiel also called for greater U.S. scrutiny of Apple as the company makes most of its devices in China, where it has a massive supply chain, according to the Bloomberg report. Thiel, an early investor in Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) criticized the social media giant for declining to take a firm stand on protests in Hong Kong last year.
Why It Matters: Apple is heavily dependent on China for its revenue as well as its manufacturing supply chain. Greater China accounts for 19% of Apple’s total revenue and is also the main hotspot for its global supply chain. Apple has previously been accused of being complicit in labor law violations by its suppliers in China.
In 2019, Thiel had said that the FBI and CIA should investigate Google to check whether Chinese spies have infiltrated the company’s research into artificial intelligence, according to a report by CNBC.
Price Action: Apple shares closed 1.3% higher on Wednesday at $127.90 and further rose almost 0.4% in the after-hours session.
On the same day, Google shares closed 1.1% higher at $2,249.68 and further added 0.5% in the after-hours session. Facebook shares rose 2.2% to $313.09 and further added 0.3% in the after-hours session.
Photo by Dan Taylor on Flickr
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