Trusting Mark Zuckerberg as far as one can throw him is a tall order for many Americans but we at least know that when it comes to his loyalties to China, they’re at an all-time zero.
During the congressional hearing on Wednesday, Republican Rep. Greg Steube asked the four tech giants in attendance whether or not China was stealing technology from US companies. They each gave guarded answers, except Zuckerberg.
“Do you believe that the Chinese government steals technology from US companies?” asked Steube.
“I don’t know of specific cases where we have been stolen from by the government,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.
He added that “I know of no case [of] ours where it occurred … I can only speak to firsthand knowledge.”
Not a surprising answer from Apple’s CEO, given the fact that a lot of their products are made with slave labor in China, and they were even issued orders from the top to make their original programming on AppleTV+ China-friendly.
When asked, Google CEO Sundar Pichai gave an almost mirror perfect answer.
“I have no firsthand knowledge of any information stolen from Google in this regard,” he said.
It should be noted that he backtracked on this answer, citing the cyberattack conducted by China on Google in 2009, which resulted in some of Google’s IP being stolen.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was also careful with his answer, saying that he hadn’t “seen it personally” but did say that China creates “knock-off” products that are posted to his website.
Only Zuckerberg cut straight to the truth.
“I think it’s well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from American companies,” said Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg is correct.
According to CNN Business, China’s IP theft has cost the U.S. billions of dollars and jobs:
The United States Trade Representative, which led the seven-month investigation into China’s intellectual property theft and made recommendations to the Trump administration, found that “Chinese theft of American IP currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.
The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property has labeled China the “world’s principal IP infringer.”
It’s interesting that neither Apple, Google, or even Amazon want to put too much heat onto China for their blatant theft, but Zuckerberg has likely had more than his fair share of problems with China. His honesty may be driven by a lack of business ties, but at least he’s being honest.