EU delays China tech investment ban for now

EU delays China tech investment ban for now

The Impact of Biden’s Executive Order on Tech Investments in China


The unveiling of an executive order by US President Joe Biden aimed at curbing investments in certain tech sectors in China has prompted mixed reactions from policymakers and the business community. While the UK government appreciates the clarity provided by the decision, it will closely evaluate potential implications for national security. The European Union, on the other hand, declares close contact with the White House but gives no indication of implementing similar measures. As the EU has been exploring ways to restrict technology flow to China, these developments pose an intriguing challenge, given China’s role as its largest trading partner.

Evaluating National Security Implications

The UK government reacted positively to President Biden’s executive order, finding it helpful in understanding the approach of their close ally. They have emphasized the need to evaluate potential national security implications and will consider the new measures closely. This aligns with the UK’s ongoing efforts to safeguard its technological and economic interests against any potential threats.

The European Union’s Response

The European Union responded with a more ambiguous stance. While the Commission stated being in close contact with the US administration, they expressed no immediate plans to follow suit. The EU acknowledges the significance of the topic and the shared interest among member states in preventing capital and expertise from strengthening actors that may undermine international peace and security. However, it remains to be seen whether the EU will adopt similar measures or continue pursuing its own approach to constrain the flow of technology to China.

Balancing Economic Security and Trade

Brussels has been exploring various avenues to restrict the flow of technology to China, including the adoption of economic security controls with stronger export regulations. However, China’s status as the EU’s largest trading partner poses a significant challenge. The sensitivity of the issue is exemplified by the ongoing back-and-forth over semiconductor technology. China’s restrictions on rare earth exports, for example, have the potential to disrupt not only the nascent chip-making industry in Europe but also impede the EU’s green transition.

Market Reaction and Potential Retaliation

Interestingly, the markets have not shown significant concern following the executive order. The ban on new investments in advanced semiconductors, microelectronics, quantum technology, and certain AI systems has not caused major disruptions. However, US investors express apprehension about potential retaliatory actions from China. The EU, too, may adopt a cautious approach, carefully observing the fallout from the US’s latest move in its complex relationship with China.


US President Biden’s executive order to restrict investments in certain tech sectors in China has evoked mixed responses. While the UK government views it as a clarifying measure, the EU remains cautious and is analyzing its own approach. Balancing economic security and trade with China presents a delicate situation for the EU, especially considering China’s role as its largest trading partner. As the global tech landscape continues to evolve, it remains to be seen how these developments will impact international relationships and the future of technological trade.