The US could restrict Chinese companies from using cloud service providers like Amazon and Microsoft

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The US could restrict Chinese companies from using cloud service providers like Amazon and Microsoft
President Joe Biden.AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
  • The US could curb cloud providers from selling services to China, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Chinese companies currently cannot purchase advanced chipsets from companies like Nvidia.
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The Biden administration could restrict block US-based cloud providers from supplying their services to Chinese companies, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The White House has already been looking to prohibit American technology companies like Nvidia from selling products like chipsets purpose-built for AI applications to China. These new restrictions could curb American cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft from selling cloud access to AI developers in China.

The US has feared Beijing's advancement into cutting-edge fields like AI and how the Chinese government may use the technology to bolster its influence around the world.

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While the US government has restricted chipmakers like Nvidia from selling certain kinds of chips to China, it hasn't prevented cloud providers like Microsoft and AWS from offering their hosted services. Chinese companies could still train complex AI programs by renting resources from the likes of AWS or Microsoft, both of which offer cloud services in China and compete with Chinese cloud providers like Alibaba.

China has responded to US export bans on chipsets by restricting procurement of rare earth metals used in 5G modems and other semiconductors. Companies now have to apply for licenses to purchase them.

The Biden administration previously banned new sales of equipment from Chinese telecommunications makers Huawei and ZTE over their perceived risk to national security and fears that China could intercept or interfere with communications, something the country has denied. And the US has repeatedly discussed whether TikTok, owned by the Chinese giant ByteDance, should be blocked. Already, Montana approved a TikTok ban.

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China has said it wants to be the world leader in AI by 2030. Analysts say that China's aim by investing in domestic innovation is to become more self-sustaining and less reliant on US components and chips. The US meanwhile is working to build out domestic manufacturing through the CHIPS Act in order to wean itself off China.

The White House, Commerce Department, Nvidia, Microsoft, and Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

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