The Biden White House is considering implementing a new measure to block Chinese companies from using cloud-computing services provided by Amazon, Microsoft, and other United States tech giants, according to a report released this week.
According to the latest news, the rule would require U.S. companies to have government approval before offering their cloud services that contain advanced artificial intelligence computer chips to China-based customers.
The new measure would close a loophole for Chinese AI firms, preventing them from exploiting high-powered computer chips via cloud services despite the numerous export restrictions to prevent such access. The report noted that the U.S. Commerce Department will include restrictions in the coming weeks to expand limits on semiconductor exports to China enacted last year.
Before announcing the latest measures, the Walls Street Journal reported that the Biden White House was trying to block shipments of chips created by Nvidia and other top firms to Chinese customers by July.
“As AI technologies continue to evolve, we are witnessing a dynamic transformation of the global digital landscape that will require our leaders to reassess our relationships with foreign nations and the access that those nations have to our technologies,” said Jake Denton, a research associate in the Tech Policy Center at the Heritage Foundation.
“Our leaders must move quickly to enact measures that proactively safeguard our country’s interests and preserve our technological supremacy,” he added.
The latest news from the Biden administration comes as U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is heading to Beijing Thursday to restart economic talks between the two nations.
In a recent press release, the Treasury Department stated that Secretary Yellen will discuss with Chinese government officials the “importance for our countries – as the world’s two largest economies – to responsibly manage our relationship, communicate directly about areas of concern, and work together to address global challenges.”
According to Denton, allowing China continued access to U.S. cloud computing infrastructure would “needlessly jeopardize our sensitive data, threaten U.S. intellectual property, and compromise the integrity of the cloud infrastructure itself.”
“The Biden administration should proceed with this rule and close this dangerous loophole that undermines our semiconductor export controls,” Denton told The Foreign Desk.