Google has announced that it will ship military cargo vessels to China in a move that could change the world of commerce.
Google has been shipping cargo ships of military cargo to China for years, but this move by the search giant could open the door to the sale of military-grade cargo to a whole new class of companies.
Google ships military-class cargo to mainland China from its Google Cloud headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., in this undated file photo.
In June, Google began shipping military-type cargo ships from its Mountain View data center in California to China, the company said in a statement.
The ships have been under contract for years to various Chinese military contractors, and Google said that “there are several Chinese defense companies that are interested in the ships.”
In addition to military-related cargo, Google has been making the journey of sorts to China to conduct experiments in robotics, virtual reality and other technologies, the statement said.
“These are very exciting times for technology and our team is dedicated to delivering the best possible products and services to our customers in China,” Google said in the statement.
Google is now the fourth-largest U.S. Internet company with $5.2 trillion in annual revenue.
The move comes after years of scrutiny by Congress and consumer advocates over the growing militarization of U.s. commerce.
Last month, the Federal Trade Commission fined Google $1.2 billion for violating federal antitrust laws by blocking access to search results for a range of companies that Google said were in violation of U,s.
Google also faced another antitrust lawsuit over the search engine’s refusal to allow users to search for “drugstore chains” when searching for “liquids,” the FTC said in July.
The FTC said the company had failed to follow “clear guidelines” and that the search company violated the FTC’s antitrust rules when it did not allow search results to be searched for “pharmaceuticals” and “health care providers.”
“The FTC is committed to protecting consumers, innovating, and protecting the Internet from unfair or deceptive business practices,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in announcing the fine.
“It is unfortunate that our antitrust enforcement team has been unable to find a single instance of Google engaging in such behavior,” she said.
The new settlement will allow Google to resume shipping military cargo from its data center.
The company is also allowing Google to export military cargo on behalf of its overseas partners, according to the statement released by Google.