By Sarah E. Needleman
President Trump said the U.S. government would look into national-security concerns raised by billionaire investor and Facebook Inc. board member Peter Thiel about Google's ties to the Chinese government.
The statement, tweeted by Mr. Trump on Tuesday morning, came after Mr. Thiel, in a keynote speech Sunday at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C., called for the FBI and CIA to investigate Alphabet Inc.'s Google unit, which he has claimed is working with China's government instead of the U.S. military. The Wall Street Journal couldn't immediately determine what prompted Mr. Thiel's comments at the conference.
"Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason," Mr. Trump said in the tweet, adding "The Trump Administration will take a look!"
In an interview Monday with Fox News Channel's Tucker Carlson, Mr. Thiel suggested Chinese intelligence agents are likely to have infiltrated Google as it works on an artificial-intelligence project in the country. However, Mr. Thiel, in the interview, didn't offer evidence that backed his claims.
"If you say you're building a Manhattan Project for AI, don't you think that would attract the interest of foreign intelligence agents?" Mr. Thiel said, referring to the World War II-era project that led to the development of the world's first atomic bombs.
"As we have said before, we do not work with the Chinese military," Google said in a statement.
Google has been working for years to build a presence in China's massive but elusive commercial market, where its search engine has been blocked since 2010. More recently, Google opened an artificial-intelligence lab in Beijing in 2017, a move aimed at attracting the country's tech talent.
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