The US is reportedly looking to curb American investments into Chinese AI and tech
As you may have heard, the US Biden administration has been cracking down on US tech exports to China.
The backstory: As you may have heard, the US Biden administration has been cracking down on US tech exports to China, including restricting access to semiconductors and the equipment to make them. Recently, the US also stopped approving licenses for American companies to export to Chinese tech giant Huawei.
More recently: A report from Georgetown University's tech policy group CSET showed that about 17% of all investments in Chinese AI companies between 2015 and 2021 came from US investors. There were 167 American investors who invested around US$40.2 billion in Chinese AI companies during the period, making up 37% of all investments received by these companies in those six years.
While Qualcomm Ventures and Intel Capital each made 13 and 11 investments, respectively, the report showed that GGV Capital was in the lead, with a whopping 43 investments. But, the exact amount of money put in by US firms is still unknown.
The development: Now, the White House is taking it a step further. It's reportedly exploring the possibility of preventing US companies from doing business with certain parts of China's tech sector altogether, according to Politico. This move would be a broader ban than the others in place. The idea is that the US is looking to prevent transferring money and knowledge that might help advance China’s tech and military.
"Working closely with our interagency export controls partners at the Departments of Energy, Defense and State, we continually assess our policies and regulations and communicate regularly with external stakeholders," said the US Commerce Department. "We do not comment on conversations with or deliberations about specific companies."
"We recognize that the unilateral controls we're putting into place will lose effectiveness over time if other countries don't join us," said one US government official last year when the Biden administration first introduced the export ban. "And we risk harming US technology leadership if foreign competitors are not subject to similar controls."
"We are appropriately doing everything in our power to protect our national security and prevent sensitive technologies with military applications from being acquired by the People's Republic of China's military, intelligence, and security services," said US Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez last October.
After filing a complaint with the WTO last year over some tech export curbs, China said the US was abusing these controls to maintain "its leadership in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing sectors,” adding that the controls were a threat to "the stability of the global industrial supply chains."