WASHINGTON — A United States (US) House of Representatives committee has launched an investigation into investments by four US venture capital firms into Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) and semiconductor companies.
The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party sent letters on Tuesday to GGV Capital, GSR Ventures, Walden International and Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm, Inc., asking for information on their investments in China and setting an Aug. 1 deadline for the firms to respond.
In the letters, the committee alleged that investments by US firms directly contribute to China’s human rights abuses, military modernization and its effort to supplant US technological leadership.
The committee said the probe is the first in a series of investigations into the relationship between the investment world and the Chinese Communist Party.
The Biden administration is considering new rules that would restrict the flow of US investments in Chinese companies working on advanced semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.
In its letter to GGV, the panel said the firm had invested in Megvii Technology, a Chinese company “which actively supports the surveillance of Uyghurs,” a Muslim minority group.
The US blacklisted Megvii in 2019 over its alleged links to China’s treatment of Uyghurs.
Beijing has denied US allegations of human rights abuses against Uyghurs.
The committee said Walden had invested in Intellifusion, an AI company the US blacklisted in 2020 for allegedly enabling surveillance of Uyghurs.
GSR Ventures, the committee said, has invested in companies linked to the Chinese military, such as Horizon Robotics, which specializes in AI chips.
Qualcomm Ventures invested in SenseTime, a company the US blacklisted in 2019 over its alleged role China’s efforts to profile and track Uyghurs, the committee said.
GGV, Walden, GSR and Qualcomm did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the investigation. — Reuters