Biden unveils measures to restrain U.S. investment in key Chinese tech sectors


The Biden Administration is set to implement restrictions on U.S. corporations’ investments in areas like advanced semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. These measures, outlined in an executive order expected to be released this Wednesday, signify a significant shift in federal oversight over American companies engaging in the Chinese tech industry.

The primary objective behind these regulations is to prevent U.S. investments from inadvertently contributing to China’s military modernization efforts, potentially posing a threat to national security. While these rules are not slated to be effective until a year later, they will undergo a public comment period to consider input from businesses and other stakeholders prior to finalization.

Notably, the scope of these measures has been revised following extensive consultation with the private sector. Originally intended to be more far-reaching, the revised focus of the regulations acknowledges concerns expressed by American business leaders about potential negative impacts on domestic economic interests. The thriving Chinese market, boasting over a billion consumers, holds significant importance for numerous U.S. companies.

To address fears of a widespread economic impact, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, during her engagements in Beijing, reassured Chinese counterparts that the executive order would be precisely targeted and not intended to have broad repercussions on the Chinese economy. Despite such reassurances, China’s Ambassador to the United States, Xie Feng, has cautioned that Beijing will formulate a response to these measures.

The development comes amid an escalating technological rivalry between China and the United States. Previous restrictions announced by the Commerce Department sought to hinder China’s access to critical technology required for advanced semiconductor production. This move aimed to hamper China’s domestic manufacturing capabilities and slow advancements in supercomputing and weapons development. As per Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the administration’s intention is to erect strong safeguards around sensitive technologies that could be exploited against U.S. interests.

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