White House Roundtable Session With Google Likely To Be Postponed

A Google sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai
A Google sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Aly Song)

The hearing with Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai will likely be pushed back at a later date by the US House Judiciary Committee to give way for the state funeral of former US President George H.W. Bush, House Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte confirmed on Sunday. Purpose of the roundtable was to question the social media practices of Alphabet Inc.'s search engine unit.

The Google chief has earlier agreed to appear to testify before the White House panel over the concerns raised by the Republicans concerning the tech company's supposed bias against conservatives following its no-show during a high-profile Senate hearing.

Google has already issued a statement denying the said accusations that it is biased towards the right-wing.

The White House hearing was initially scheduled to take place this coming Wednesday. However, the state funeral for the former POTUS will be held on the same day at the National Cathedral in Washington.

In an interview with Fox News in its segment, Sunday Morning Futures, the committee chairman said that it's likely that the hearing will be rescheduled for next week.

On doubts that it won't happen at all, Goodlattee assured that the meeting will occur such that it holds great significance in the status and the future of the high-tech sector.

Aside from the queries about Google's alleged political bias, it is also expected that lawmakers will ask about the multi-colored company's plans to invest in China's own sector.

Previously, Google told the White House that it is considering opportunities to set roots and offer tech services in the Asian powerhouse. However, the search engine giant declined to disclose further details of its expansion plans as well as how it will address China's apparent internet censorship.

Google has come under fire following reports suggesting its consideration to re-enter China's search engine sphere which is currently being dominated by home-grown companies like Baidu. If this is so, the Gmail.com sister website would have to take into account the aforementioned internet censorship and Beijing's surveillance policies.

Roundtable with Tech Execs

Aside from Google, the White House will also be holding a one-on-one with several other big Silicon Valley companies, an earlier report from Business Times said.

Among the number of chief executives who are confirmed to participate are Satya Nadella of Microsoft Corporation, Steven Mollenkopf of Qualcomm Inc., and Saftra Catz of Oracle Corp., just to mention a few.

Apple's chief, Tim Cook, however, hasn't reportedly received the invitation but will also likely to appear, a report from Apple Insider said.

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