The U.S. House of Representatives hearing on the four technology giants will begin tomorrow morning, Beijing time. Recently, CEOs of the four giants — Google, apple, Facebook, and Amazon gave their own testimony. The following is the testimony of Google CEO sandar picchay:
Dear cicilline, senior member Sen Sensenbrenner, and the success of the sub committee Members, thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak before you today.
in essence, the discussion about competition is about opportunity. Today, this is more important than ever, because global pandemics pose a double challenge to our health and our economy.
for me, expanding opportunities through technology is a very personal issue. I grew up in India and had little access to computers. So you can imagine how surprised I was when I came to the United States to study as a graduate student and saw that the computers in the whole laboratory were allowed to be used at any time.
when I first walked into this computer lab and connected to the Internet, I embarked on a path to bring technology to the public. That’s why I joined Google 16 years ago, and that’s why I helped create Google’s first browser, chrome. This is not because I think the world needs another browser, but because a better browser can open the way to the Internet for more people. At that time, I couldn’t imagine that 11 years later, there would be so many people browsing the web for free through chrome.
at Google, we are proud of the number of users of our products and services, but even more proud of what they have done with our products and services, whether 140 million students and educators use G suite for during the outbreak Education keeps in touch, 5 million Americans acquire digital skills through Google, or millions of small business owners build relationships with customers through Google products like maps and search.
without America’s long tradition of innovation, our work cannot be completed. We are proud to contribute to the future of the United States. Our company, founded in Silicon Valley, has more than 120000 employees worldwide and 75000 employees in the United States, located in offices and data centers in 26 states. Ppl estimates that in 2018 alone, we invested more than $20 billion in the United States. PPI saw us as the largest U.S. capital investor of the year, and it also ranked us among the top five investors in the United States over the past three years.
an important way for us to contribute is that we want to create products that benefit American users, whether they want to find the fastest way home, learn to cook a new dish on youtube, or start a small business. Research has found that free services like search engine, Gmail, Google maps and Google photos bring thousands of dollars of value to the average American every year.
there are also many small business owners who have grown by using our digital tools. For example, fat witch bakery, a bakery in New York City, has been known for decades for its delicious Brownie cakes. Fat Witch and its founder, Patricia herding, have been customers of Google ads for the past 17 years. The fat witch team used free tools such as Google my business to interact with customers, enabling customers to keep up-to-date with their latest situation, and obtained more than 200 store information and data reviews. They also use free tools like Google Analytics to track the effectiveness of their marketing spending.
for example, when covid-19 forced Texas to take emergency shelter, Austin based fitness company Kettlebell kings has invested in Google ads and Google Analytics for nearly a decade. When home isolation leads to a surge in sales of home fitness equipment, Kettlebell is ready to adjust its digital products to capture the market. Kettlebell kings’ YouTube channel data grew by 20%, which helped them boost their digital revenue and sales, which has increased by 3000% since the outbreak of covid-19. Nearly a third of small business owners said that without digital tools, they would have to close all or part of their business during the outbreak.
I’m very proud that with our tools, businesses around the world can compete in ways that were impossible 20 years ago. Berry digital solutions, for example, is a digital marketing company based in Urbana, Ohio, which aims to support small businesses there. During the outbreak, berry digital solutions used Google tools to work remotely, coordinate meetings through Google Calendar, and collaborate on content on Google documents to help customers use Google Advertising. The berry digital team also uses Google Analytics to learn more about their customers and how they can better serve them.
another of our contributions is in-depth technology investment in the future of the United States. Every year, we are one of the largest R & D investors in the world. By the end of 2019, our R & D spending has increased nearly tenfold in 10 years, from $2.8 billion to $26 billion. Over the past five years, we have invested more than $90 billion.
through these investments, our engineering team is helping the United States consolidate its global leadership in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, autopilot, and quantum computing. Last fall, for example, our team of researchers in the United States pioneered the quantum computing milestone, a discovery that could eventually lead to new breakthroughs in medicine, creating more efficient batteries.
just as the United States can’t guarantee that it will always lead these areas, we know that Google can’t always succeed. Google operates in a competitive and dynamic global market, where prices fluctuate or fall freely and products are constantly improving. Today’s competitive landscape is completely different from what it was five years ago, not to mention 21 years ago, when Google launched its first product, Google search.
for example, people search for information more than ever before, and this is happening more and more outside the search engine. Usually, the answer is just a click or an app: you can ask Alexa questions in the kitchen, read news on twitter, ask friends about information via WhatsApp, and get recommendations on snapchat or pinterest. When you search for products online, you may visit Amazon, eBay, Wal Mart, or any of many e-commerce providers, where most of the online shopping queries are lined up. Similarly, in areas such as tourism and real estate, Google faces fierce competition from experts in many fields.
a competitive digital advertising market provides manufacturers, advertisers and consumers with many choices. For example, in the past decade, advertising competition from twitter, instagram, pinterest, Comcast and other companies has helped reduce online advertising costs by 40%, and these savings have been passed on to consumers through lower prices.
we have also specially built a platform to support innovation. Android system, which I have been working on for many years, allows thousands of device manufacturers and mobile operators to manufacture and sell devices. We don’t charge any fees or put forward any requirements to integrate our products. This has greatly reduced device prices, and today billions of consumers around the world can afford smartphones, some of which cost less than $50. This gives them new opportunities: whether it’s sharing videos with friends and family around the world, educating themselves or their children, or choosing to start a career.
and higher standards of privacy. I always believe that the right to privacy is a universal right, and everyone should have the right to privacy. Google is committed to protecting your information, treating it responsibly, and giving users the freedom to choose and share content. We will never sell user information to third parties. But we have to do more to protect users in different industries, and that’s why we’ve always supported comprehensive federal privacy laws.
today, I have not forgotten how innovation and technology have changed my life. Google’s goal is to create more opportunities for everyone, no matter where you live, what you believe in, or how much money you can make. We are committed to working with legislators, including members of this committee, to protect consumers, maintain America’s technological competitive advantage in the world, and ensure that every American has access to the incredible opportunities that technology creates.