Voters Support Required Government Notice Before U.S. Companies Invest in China’s Critical Sectors

Nearly 1 in 2 also back restrictions that would ban American companies from doing business in and exporting to China when dealing with advanced technologies.
March 02, 2023 at 5:00 am UTC

As the Biden administration considers limiting the ability of American companies to invest in Chinese technology firms and Congress starts to scrutinize the flow of American money into the Chinese market, a slim majority of U.S. voters support stricter requirements on American investments in China, according to a new Morning Consult survey.

Half of Voters Support Requiring U.S. Companies to Notify Government of Any Investment in Critical Sectors in China

The shares of registered voters who believe U.S. companies should be required to notify the U.S. government of investments in critical sectors in China ...
Survey conducted Feb. 2-3, 2023, among a sample of 815 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

Half of voters want to see scrutiny of U.S. investments in Chinese businesses, startups in critical sectors

  • Half of voters back a requirement for American companies to notify the federal government before they invest in critical sectors in China, regardless of whether the U.S. firm has Chinese partners. Another third of voters support the requirement only if the U.S. firm has Chinese partners.
  • Independent voters are the most hawkish, with 3 in 5 supporting a required notification of investment regardless of whether a U.S. company has Chinese partners.
  • Half of voters believe U.S. companies should notify the government before investing in Chinese startups, regardless of whether the investment is in a critical sector.

About Half of Voters Support U.S. Bans on Exports to and Doing Business in China if Country Gained Technology Edge

The shares of registered voters who believe the U.S. government should ...
Survey conducted Feb. 2-3, 2023, among a sample of 815 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

About half of voters support business, export bans for China if it gains access to advanced tech

  • Nearly half of voters back a ban on American companies doing business in China that could give Chinese companies access to advanced technology with potential national security implications.
  • Roughly 1 in 2 voters said they would support restrictions on exports that would give China access to advanced technology like semiconductors.
  • About 1 in 6 respondents backed a complete ban on all U.S. business in China, and 15% backed bans on all exports. Identical shares said the United States should not ban any American companies from doing business in China (16%) or ban any company from exporting to China (15%).

U.S. expected to crack down more on tech business ties to China

The Biden administration has been preparing new efforts to curb U.S. investment within China’s borders, with a particular focus on restricting the adversarial government’s access to advanced technologies that could be used in war. 

President Joe Biden is reportedly expected to sign an executive order in the coming months that will prohibit U.S. companies from investing in the Chinese semiconductor industry and will require firms to notify federal authorities when doing business in China that relates to advanced technologies like quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

The Biden administration has continued to scrutinize dealing in China through other means, as well. The Department of Commerce announced that in order to receive money from the $39 billion fund to build up the U.S. semiconductor industry established by the CHIPS and Science Act, U.S. companies will have to agree not to expand their capacity in China for 10 years

Biden is also reportedly considering revoking export licenses issued to U.S. companies to do business with Chinese telecom company Huawei Technologies Co. — though news of the increased scrutiny came after a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing revealed the administration approved more than $23 billion in licenses for U.S. companies to ship goods and technology to blacklisted Chinese firms in the first quarter of 2022.

The Feb. 2-3, 2023, survey was conducted among a sample of 815 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

AJ Dellinger
Data Reporter

AJ Dellinger is a data reporter at Morning Consult covering technology. @ajdell

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