- Jason Lee/Reuters
Pichai has also agreed to testify at a public hearing later this year, the paper reported.
The meeting Friday follows weeks of verbal attacks on Google by US President Donald Trump and his allies. Trump accused Google of “rigging” the company’s Search engine to silence the voices of political conservatives, and to deliver only negative news about his administration.
But Google has also acknowledged contemplating a re-entry into China. In 2010, Google pulled out of that communist country, saying that the government had tried to force managers into censoring information.
More recently, Google apparently underwent a change of heart and built a search engine that would indeed censor information that the Chinese government finds objectionable. Meanwhile, Google has balked at helping the US military with some of its operations and also promised never to build AI-enhanced weapons.
Both house of Congress have noted that while Google is squeamish at aiding the US military, it may agree to work with a Chinese government that doesn’t believe in free speech or the free flow of information.
On China, Google is politically vulnerable in the United States.
The meetings are Pichai’s first real test in the three years he’s been CEO to handle crisis management. In this area, Eric Schmidt, Pichai’s predecessor was highly skilled.