The new bipartisan bill called the RESTRICT Act aims to prevent foreign technology from reaching the US market when it poses a national security threat.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, could be among the social media platforms affected by the legislation. While TikTok has sought to migrate user data to centres in the US to tamp down accusations of close connections with China, the short-form video app has faced opposition from Washington, DC over concerns about Beijing influence operations.
The RESTRICT Act would require the Department of Commerce to review purchases of goods and services from Chinese companies for security risks. The legislation would also give the department power to block such transactions and implement measures to reduce the risk.
The bill’s sponsors say it is a comprehensive, risk-based approach to tackling dangerous technology before it gains a foothold in the US.
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan praised the RESTRICT Act, calling on Congress to send it to President Biden’s desk. The bill is the latest example of widening suspicion by Western governments of Chinese technology over concerns about Beijing’s geopolitical ambitions and human rights abuses of its Uyghur population.