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Order by President Biden restricts American investment in Chinese tech sectors

Biden Issues Order Curbing U.S. Investment in Chinese Tech Sectors

The Biden administration recently issued an executive order aimed at slowing Beijing’s development of next-generation technologies with potential military and intelligence applications. The order specifically targets advanced semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, which are areas where China has been rapidly advancing.

The new regulations outlined in the executive order will subject investments by American firms in these sectors in China to unprecedented federal oversight by the Treasury Department. The goal is to ensure that American investments do not support China’s military modernization efforts and potentially threaten national security.

While the rules will take some time to go into effect, with a public comment period for feedback, the move represents a significant shift in policy towards China’s tech sector. It reflects the growing concerns in the United States about China’s rising influence and the potential risks it poses.

National Security Action vs. Economic Concerns

The senior administration official responsible for the executive order emphasized that this is a national security action rather than an economic one. The aim is to protect U.S. national security interests in a targeted manner while maintaining a commitment to open investment.

While recognizing that cross-border investment flows have contributed to U.S. economic vitality, the Biden administration is now taking steps to restrict American investments in China’s advanced chip sector. Investments in less-advanced chips and artificial intelligence will be permitted but will require notification to the U.S. government. However, investment in quantum computing, including the development of computers, sensors, and networks, will be prohibited.

It’s important to note that these rules will only apply to new investments and not existing deals. Private equity and venture capital firms, which often play a key role in connecting companies with experts to help them grow, will face increased scrutiny in their transactions.

Concerns and Potential Impact

The executive order is the result of months of engagement with the private sector, as American executives expressed concerns about the potential negative impact on U.S. businesses and the domestic economy. China, with its vast consumer market and second-largest economy globally, remains a vital market for many American companies.

The U.S.-China Business Council expressed the importance of defining “covered national security technologies and products” accurately to avoid disadvantaging American companies compared to foreign competitors. They also emphasized the need for the Biden administration to work with U.S. allies and partners to advance common interests.

The Semiconductor Industry Association hopes that the final rules will allow U.S. companies to compete on a level playing field and access key global markets, including China, to promote the long-term strength of the U.S. semiconductor industry.

Related Facts

  • Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is expected to visit Beijing later this month, signaling ongoing engagement between the U.S. and China.
  • Earlier this summer, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made separate trips to Beijing to help ease tensions between the two countries.
  • The executive order is part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to address concerns about China’s economic and technological advancements.

Key Takeaway

The Biden administration’s executive order restricting U.S. investment in Chinese tech sectors reflects growing concerns about China’s military modernization and potential threats to U.S. national security. While the specific regulations will take time to be finalized and implemented, the move signals a shift in U.S. policy towards China’s tech sector.


The executive order issued by President Biden represents a significant step towards curbing U.S. investment in Chinese tech sectors that have potential military and intelligence applications. By limiting American investments in advanced semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, the Biden administration aims to protect U.S. national security interests. However, the long-term impact of these restrictions on the U.S. economy and its relationship with China remains to be seen.

Denk Liu
Denk Liu
Denk Liu is an honest person who always tells it like it is. He's also very objective, seeing the situation for what it is and not getting wrapped up in emotion. He's a regular guy - witty and smart but not pretentious. He loves playing video games and watching action movies in his free time.

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