The Biden administration is proposing to restrict Chinese companies' access to U.S. cloud-computing services, in a move that could further strain relations between the world's economic superpowers.
The proposal, which is still under consideration, would require U.S. cloud providers to obtain a license from the Commerce Department before selling or transferring their services to Chinese companies. This license would be granted only if the Commerce Department determines that the sale or transfer would not pose a threat to national security.
It seems the proposal is directly aimed at preventing China from using U.S. cloud services to develop advanced technologies that could be used for military purposes. According to the Wall Street Journal, Biden administration is particularly concerned about China's advancement in artificial intelligence, which has both civilian and military applications.
The Commerce Department is expected to make a decision on the proposal in the coming months. If the proposal is approved, it would be the latest in a series of measures by the Biden administration to restrict China's access to advanced technologies.
The proposed restrictions on China's access to U.S. cloud computing services could have a significant impact on both countries. For China, the restrictions would make it more difficult to develop and deploy advanced technologies, which could slow its economic growth. For the United States, the restrictions could harm U.S. businesses that sell cloud services to China.
It is also worth noting the restrictions could also have a broader impact on the global tech industry. If other countries follow the United States' lead, it could fragment the global cloud market and make it more difficult for companies to operate across borders.
The Future of the Proposal and US/China Relations
The future of the proposed restrictions is uncertain. The Commerce Department is still considering the proposal, and it is possible that it could be rejected. However, if the proposal is approved, it is likely to be met with legal challenges from China.
These restrictions are a sign of the growing tensions between the United States and China over technology. As the two countries compete for technological dominance, it is likely that we will see more measures like this in the future.
Last week, it emerged the U.S. government is also considering AI chip restrictions against China. The U.S. government is considering imposing new restrictions on the export of artificial intelligence (AI) chips to China, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
The goal is to stop China from getting ahead in the creation of AI technologies that could affect military and economic matters, such as identifying faces, driving vehicles without human intervention and computing with quantum mechanics.
Sources who asked not to be named because the matter is not public say that the Commerce Department is working on a plan that would make U.S. companies get a license before they can sell certain kinds of AI chips to China. The plan would also broaden the meaning of AI chips to include those that are made or improved for machine learning, the method of teaching computers to do tasks without clear instructions.