Venture capitalist and technology investor Peter Thiel has criticized US technology giants Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Apple Inc.. (NASDAQ: AAPL) as well as cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) to work against US interests and in favor of China, according to a report by Bloomberg.
What happened: During a performance at a virtual event hosted by the Richard Nixon Foundation, Thiel said he believes Bitcoin could undermine America.
“I wonder if Bitcoin at this point should also be considered in part as a Chinese economic weapon against the United States,”
The statement seems to represent a change in the attitude of Thiel, co-founder of PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) – which is also a major investor in Bitcoin companies.
During the conversation, which was largely focused on US-China relations, Thiel allegedly said he had asked employees working in Google’s artificial intelligence department whether the company’s technology was used in China’s Xinjiang region, but they said that they were not aware of it. Thiel has previously accused Google of working against US interests in 2019.
Thiel also called for greater U.S. control of Apple, as the company manufactures 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 giant on social media for refusing to take a firm stand on protests in Hong Kong last year.
See also: The rich get richer: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk Top Forbes’ 2021 list of world billionaires
Why it means: Apple is heavily dependent on China for its revenue as well as its production 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 the FBI and CIA should investigate Google to check if Chinese spies have infiltrated the company’s research into artificial intelligence, according to a report by CNBC.
In addition, Google invested $ 550 million in Chinese e-commerce company JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) in 2018 at a time of tension between the US and Chinese governments.
Price action: Apple shares closed 1.3% higher on Wednesday at $ 127.90 and rose further by almost 0.4% in the after-hours session.
On the same day, Google shares closed 1.1% higher at $ 2,249.68, adding another 0.5% in the post-session. Facebook shares rose 2.2% to $ 313.09, adding another 0.3% in the post-session.
Read next: iPhone users can now track their non-Apple gadgets
Photo by Dan Taylor on Flickr
Join us on SPACs Attack with Matt Higgins & Gary Vee
© 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.