China will remain without clouds: the US plans to impose restrictions on access to its cloud services
Why are Americans afraid that Chinese companies will steal their artificial intelligence technology?
Washington. Biden administration plans to limit access of Chinese companies to American cloud services, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the situation.
The proposed restriction is seen as a way to close a significant loophole. National security analysts warn that Chinese AI companies may have circumvented current export control regulations by using cloud services.
The new rule, if passed, would likely require U.S. cloud service providers such as Amazon.com and Microsoft to obtain U.S. government approval before they provide cloud services powered by advanced AI chips to Chinese customers.
The move is aimed at protecting US technology from being stolen or used for military purposes by China, which is the US’s main competitor in the field of artificial intelligence.
The Department of Commerce is expected to announce this in the coming weeks as part of an expansion of its semiconductor export control policy introduced in October.
The cloud ban will be the latest in a series of tit-for-tat moves between Washington and Beijing over semiconductors and other advanced technologies.
China has hit back, including banning some firms from buying products from Micron Technology, the largest manufacturer of memory chips in the US.
Beijing on Monday announced restrictions on the export of metals used in advanced chip manufacturing, days before Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s visit to China.
Yellen said she hopes to stop the downward spiral in the relationship as US officials worry China could cut off access to key commodities such as electric vehicle battery components. In China, meanwhile, officials say the US is seeking to stall China’s economic development.
The decision is expected to provoke a backlash from Beijing, which has already accused the US of a trade war and discrimination against Chinese companies.