A U.S. congressional committee has asked the Commerce Department to look into whether a giant technology company controlled by the ruling family of the United Arab Emirates should be put under trade restrictions because of its ties to China. The company, G42, specializes in artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies, and is overseen by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed. It has signed recent agreements with prominent American technology companies.
U.S. officials have privately expressed concerns that the company could be a conduit for advanced American technology to be siphoned to Chinese companies or the government. The congressional committee has asked the Commerce Department to consider imposing export controls on G42 and 13 affiliated companies, most of them based in China. G42 has also invested in ByteDance, the Chinese parent company of TikTok, and has investments in other Chinese firms.
The company advertised itself at a police conference in Dubai as offering surveillance technology similar to that of U.S. company Palantir, but with features specifically catered to the Chinese market. The company representative claimed its software had already been sold to several countries in Africa and the Middle East, and was being used by the Emirati government.
The ties between G42 and China have raised concerns among U.S. officials, as China is increasingly asserting itself in the technology sector, particularly in the development of artificial intelligence.
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