In the digital cold war between the United States and China, American officials are increasingly turning their attention to a new target: Chinese cloud computing giants.
Over the last 18 months, the Biden administration and members of Congress have ramped up their exploration of what can be done to address security concerns about the cloud computing divisions of Chinese tech behemoths like Alibaba and Huawei, five people with knowledge of the matter said.
American officials have discussed whether they can set tighter rules for the Chinese companies when they operate in the United States, as well as ways to counter the companies’ growth abroad, three of the people said. The Biden administration has also spoken with the American cloud computing companies Google, Microsoft and Amazon to understand how their Chinese competitors operate, three other people with knowledge of the matter said.
By focusing on the Chinese cloud companies, U.S. officials are potentially widening the scope of the technological tensions between Washington and Beijing. In recent years, the United States has choked China’s access to crucial technologies while trying to limit the reach of Chinese tech and telecommunication companies abroad.