President Joe Biden signed an executive order that puts new limits on American investment in certain types of Chinese tech firms. The order is meant to address national security concerns posed by companies that deal with “sensitive technologies,” including semiconductors, quantum computing and artificial intelligence.
"Advancements in sensitive technologies and products in these sectors will accelerate the development of advanced computational capabilities that will enable new applications that pose significant national security risks, such as the development of more sophisticated weapons systems, breaking of cryptographic codes, and other applications that could provide these countries with military advantages," the executive order states.
The White House described the move as “narrowly targeted,” saying it was meant to bar the funding of “entities that engage in specific activities related to these technology areas that pose the most acute national security risks.” As The Washington Post notes, responsibility for enforcing the executive order would fall on the Treasury Secretary.
The executive order, which won’t go into effect until 2024, is hardly the first time the US has sought to limit the influence of Chinese tech firms in recent years. Both Biden and his predecessor imposed significant restrictions on Huawei. The White House has also limited the sale of supercomputing technology to Chinese firms and sought to block China’s access to advanced chip-making equipment. The Biden Administration has also pressured ByteDance, the Chinese owner of TikTok, to sell the popular app.