Google CEO Sundar Pichai's testimony in the US House rescheduled for 11 December

The hearing was scheduled for 5 Dec, the same day a state funeral is being held for George HW Bush.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai will testify before the US House Judiciary Committee on 11 December, the panel said in a statement on 4 December as Washington prepared for the state funeral of former President George HW Bush.

The hearing will examine Google’s social media practices, according to the notice on the panel’s website. The committee’s chairman, Bob Goodlatte, had said on 2 December that Pichai’s testimony would likely be postponed to observe Bush’s death.

In September another hearing was scheduled where Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Larry Page were asked to come along with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to defend their respective companies from doubts over their preparedness to combat foreign interference to influence US politics. However, neither Pichai nor Page showed up.

Google CEO Sundar Pichais testimony in the US House rescheduled for 11 December

Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Google. Image: Reuters

Google decided to pass on the chance to defend itself and its empty chair had then intensified the pressure against the company from lawmakers.

Finally, the hearing was scheduled for today, 5 December, the same day a state funeral is being held for Bush at the National Cathedral in Washington.

Goodlatte said in an interview with Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” that he expected the hearing to be rescheduled. “But we expect that to occur and it’s very, very important that it do occur,” he said.

In addition to queries about possible political bias, lawmakers may also examine Google’s potential investments in China.

Google previously told US lawmakers it was considering options to offer additional services in China, but declined to detail plans for addressing Chinese censorship. The company has come under criticism after reports it was considering re-entering China’s search engine market and would comply with its internet censorship and surveillance policies.

With inputs from Reuters

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