In short: Google CEO Sundar Pichai will face lawmakers later this week, responding to a number of concerns stemming from the company's growing activity in China, as well as several other topics such as accusations that the firm's Search engine is biased toward left-leaning worldviews, user privacy violations, and potential antitrust transgressions. While the Friday meeting will be private, the 46-year-old will also attend a public hearing on the matter in November, with the happening being set to be organized by the House Judiciary Committee following this year's mid-term elections.
Background: Mr. Pichai's decision to personally address stateside lawmakers comes shortly after Capitol Hill harshly criticized the technology giant over its refusal to send its top executives to testify on election security. The legislators and certain government officials recently also expressed concerns about Google's China ambitions, particularly in regards to its plan to launch a censored version of its Internet Search engine in the Far Eastern country despite discontinuing the service in 2010 as a sign of protest against Beijing's efforts aimed at suppressing the free flow of online information. The development came shortly after Google opted not to renew the controversial Project Maven. The initiative aimed at weaponizing AI in collaboration with pentagon was discontinued due to aggressive employee activism, with Washington criticizing the company for refusing to work with the U.S. government while simultaneously strengthening its relations with Chinese firms, especially amid a large-scale trade war that's currently being waged by the world's two largest economies.
Impact: Google's public image may change for the worse this fall as the company is now facing criticism from both aisles of the political spectrum in its home country. The bipartisan pressure it's set to endure may affect its future business strategy and stifle its growth, especially if Washington manages to prevent it from expanding in China.