The United Kingdom reflects on the opportunity for investment in Chinese technology

Following Biden’s decision, London is also evaluating the US approach to strategic sectors

The UK could be the next country to follow in the US’s footsteps in restricting investment in China’s tech sector. After President Joe Biden signed an executive order giving the Treasury Secretary the power to limit US investment in Chinese semiconductor, microelectronics, quantum computer and AI firms for national security reasons, the British government he said he was ready to “carefully evaluate” these measures. A spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “The UK will seriously consider these new measures in the context of assessing the potential national security risks associated with certain investments.”

Biden’s assertive approach has provided clear direction on the US government’s stance at a time of rising tensions between the West and China. The US move has raised major issues, especially considering the UK’s interest in developing its expertise in science and technology, identifying semiconductors, quantum computers and AI as priority areas. The resilience of semiconductor supply chains is in the spotlight, following concerns expressed by the industry that the UK could fall behind in such a critical area. Indeed, semiconductor technology has become a focal point of geopolitical tensions.