US may take action against Chinese tech sector
The White House is considering steps to restrict US investment in Chinese technology companies amid mounting tensions between the world’s two biggest economies, Bloomberg reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.
US President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order on investment curbs in the coming months. One of the sources told the agency that separate action may be taken against TikTok, China’s popular video-sharing app. The Commerce Department may also introduce further restrictions on chips used for artificial intelligence computing.
The White House is reportedly discussing with Congress the possibility of adopting legislation requiring US firms to give advance notice of possible investments in certain Chinese industries. Setting up a system allowing the government to block such investments outright is also being considered.
Earlier this week, two of the largest US chip-makers Nvidia and AMD said Washington had put in place new restrictions to cut China and Russia off from high-end artificial intelligence chips. The new limits affect graphics processing unit chips, or GPUs, originally developed for video games but quickly taken up by companies operating supercomputers, as well as scientists and tech firms that need them for recognizing speech and objects in photographs.
According to the US administration, the country’s chip producers will now require special export licenses to sell these types of chips because, due to their specifications, they can be used by Russia and China for weapons development and intelligence gathering.
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