‘Absolutely Foolish to Have This Type of Relationship’: Thayer on Major US Tech Firms’ Ties to China

Tiffany Meier
By Tiffany Meier
February 12, 2022China in Focus

In this special episode, we sat down with Stephen Bryen, senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy, and Bradley Thayer, founding member of the Committee on the Present Danger: China. They touch on the new report by the Victims of Communism that notes eight major U.S. tech companies have business links to the Chinese military and security apparatus. Those eight companies are Apple, Amazon, Dell, Facebook, GE, Google, Intel, and Microsoft.

Bryen and Thayer touch on what that relationship means for Americans, whether it poses a national security risk, and what can be done going forward.

Bryen notes the risks these relationships pose, saying “the risk of loss of technology is a critical one, the possibility of giving China insight into how we do think is a risk, because then they can understand our defenses much better. I think that’s a serious issue to take into account. And then the loss of leadership in technology because after you start this cooperation, you’re no longer the leader; you’re involved in a partnership. And so you’re sharing technology on a one-to-one basis. And so I think that’s very dangerous too because, you know, the key thing that the U.S. has is not a huge military or huge defense capability—although we have—but the real thing is the quality … the high tech that really makes our defense really terrific. And the idea that China … [is] catching up, and nowadays is equivalent, in some cases leading, is very scary.”

Thayer notes this type of relationship does more harm to U.S. businesses than good, saying “it’s absolutely foolish to have this type of relationship. You’re not going to get the part of the Chinese market, the Chinese are going to take what they want from you, and then they’re going to exclude you from the Chinese market. So you will have transferred your wealth and your knowledge to China. And in the long run, you’ll have gotten nothing from that type of practice.”

Watch the full report online.

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