U.S. To Tighten Controls on Investment in China’s Chip Industry

by | 13. Feb 2023 - 14:12 | Politics

Access to advanced semiconductor technology could be further restricted.

The U.S. wants to tighten controls on investments in some Chinese tech companies, and in some cases even ban them. This is reported by the Reuters news agency, citing three unnamed sources. The White House had declined to comment.

The new regulation is likely aimed at China’s semiconductor industry, Reuters said. Back in October, the U.S. announced export restrictions to limit its access to advanced chip technology (we reported), which is important for artificial intelligence (AI) and military applications, among others.

Move Against China Also Planned in Raw Materials Sector

Before the new regulations take effect, however, the government is giving industry a chance to comment, one of the sources said, after the “unilateral” introduction of export restrictions in October angered allies and U.S. companies. The latter, including major chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm, would have made nearly a fifth of their investments in Chinese AI companies between 2015 and 2021 – transactions worth $40.2 billion.

The U.S. is currently seeking another push against China’s influence in the commodities sector, Bloomberg (paywall) reports. A “critical commodities club” with allies such as the EU, Japan and the United Kingdom aims to make supply chains less dependent on China. The country has been a world leader for decades in mining and processing critical minerals such as rare earths, which are needed for key technologies like electric mobility and wind power.

Bilateral Relations Strained After Spy Balloon Incident

Bilateral relations are currently particularly strained following the sighting and shooting down of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the United States. Observers therefore expected Washington to take punitive measures against Beijing, such as the investment ban, Reuters writes. Measures could also be taken against entities linked to the Chinese military that had supported the balloon’s flight.

Photo: iStock/Rawf8

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