Palantir CEO says companies working with U.S. adversaries should justify their position

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  • Technology companies doing business with China or US adversaries need to reveal why, Palantir CEO Alex Karp told Businesshala’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday.
  • Karp’s comments come as more tech companies are leaving the country amid harsh Internet censorship.

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Technology companies doing business with China or US adversaries need to justify their position, Palantir CEO Alex Karp told Businesshala’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday.

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“If you want to work in China or any other country that is hostile … you must disclose it and defend it,” he said.

Apple and several chip companies are among the major US tech firms that continue to operate in China. Karp’s comments come as more tech companies are leaving the country amid harsh Internet censorship.

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Most recently, Yahoo said it was leaving China and Microsoft said in October that it would shut down professional networking platform LinkedIn and replace it with a job board. Google decided to cease operations in 2010 and social media platforms including Twitter and Facebook have been blocked for more than a decade.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently answered questions about operations in China. Companies everywhere have a responsibility to do business, he said during an interview with Businesshala’s Andrew Ross Sorkin at The New York Times Dealbook Online Summit.

“I think we have a responsibility as a business to do business in as many places as possible because I think business is a huge catalyst,” Cook said. “I believe what Tom Watson called ‘world peace through world trade.’ I have always believed so.”

Palantir primarily makes software and analytics tools for the US government and large corporations, but has seen increased demand for its technology during the pandemic. In the third quarter, Palantir saw government revenue of $218 million.

Karp said Palantir believes in “full disclosure” and that companies should operate wherever they “ethically justify.”

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