US Senate wants companies to report investments in Chinese technologies


On July 25, the United States Senate backed bipartisan legislation mandating U.S. companies to report any investments in Chinese technologies. 

In an overwhelming vote of 91 to 6, the Senate supported the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is anticipated to be implemented later in 2023.

The amendment will require U.S. companies to notify federal agencies of outbound investments in Chinese technologies, including semiconductors used in artificial intelligence (AI).

Democratic Senator Bob Casey and Republican Senator John Cornyn penned the amendment, which is a version of the Outbound Investment Transparency Act that targets risks of U.S. foreign investments in countries like China.

Casey commented on his support of the amendment by saying:

“We need this type of outbound investment notification to understand just how much… critical technology we are transferring to our adversaries via these capital flows.“

He concluded by saying that with such information, the U.S. can position itself to “take control” of its economic future.

The bill’s current version is expected to pass through the Senate by the end of the week before being reconciled with another bill passed in the House of Representatives earlier and finally going to the desk of President Joe Biden.

Related: Report: China to tighten rules around releasing generative AI tools

These new measures come as the U.S. and China continue a tit-for-tat relationship surrounding emerging technologies.

On June 28, U.S. officials announced that they are considering restricting the computing power in semiconductor chips to lessen the flow of AI chips available in the Chinese market.

A few days after that announcement, on July 3, the Chinese government announced its own plans to impose export controls on metals used to manufacture semiconductors.

The latest move came again from the U.S., who on July 5, is reportedly considering adding controls to the amount of access Chinese companies will have to U.S.-based cloud computing services (CCS). This would include products from CCS giants such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.

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