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Congress probes US companies’ Chinese investments

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Lawmakers have launched an investigation into investments by four venture capital firms into Chinese companies specializing in artificial intelligence, microchips and quantum computing.

The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party has written to GGV Capital, GSR Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures and Walden International, seeking details of their Chinese investments by August 1, it said in a statement late Wednesday.

“These venture capitalists have invested millions into PRC-based AI and semiconductor firms,” said the panel’s Republican chairman Mike Gallagher, using the official acronym for the People’s Republic of China.

“We need to take a hard look at investments in sectors that are a strategic priority for the PRC, because we know that the PRC leverages private companies for military and surveillance purposes.”

The panel argues that investment in Chinese enterprise is a driver of human rights abuses by the Communist Party (CCP), and that advancements in quantum computing and semiconductor manufacturing directly benefit the Chinese army.

It said in the statement GGV Capital had invested in Chinese AI company Megvii, which “actively supports” China’s surveillance efforts over the Uyghur minority — “ushering in a new era of automated racism.”

GSR Ventures, it added, was among the top US investors in Chinese AI companies between 2015 and 2021, while Qualcomm Ventures invested in Zongmu, a Chinese self-driving vehicles manufacturer.

At least 39 percent of Walden’s AI investments in the same period went to Chinese businesses, including Intellifusion, which the Commerce Department placed on its list of entities enabling Chinese surveillance in the Uyghur region of Xinjiang.

“The American people do not want US money and expertise enabling CCP advancements in the technologies that could undermine our national security or American values,” said the panel’s top Democrat, Raja Krishnamoorthi.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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