US House of Representatives China committee asks chief executives of Intel, Nvidia, Micron to testify as international tensions mount
The chief executives of Intel, Nvidia and Micron have been asked to testify before the US House of Representatives’ China committee as the committee seeks to put pressure on chip firms with substantial interests in China, the Financial Times reported.
The committee sent letters to the three chief executives last Thursday in a shift from its previous tactics, the paper said. To date it has not held hearings with chief executives from any industry.
The paper said the committee had decided to invite chip chiefs to testify after chip firms lobbied the Joe Biden administration last summer in an effort to tone down planned chip export restrictions that were introduced in October 2023.
Intel chief executive Pat Gelsinger, Nvidia chief Jensen Huang and Qualcomm chief Christiano Amon visited the White House last July to argue to the administration that more controls would cause long-term damage to the US industry.
The three companies take a significant portion of their annual revenues from China.
At the time the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) also warned the administration that further limits on chip exports to China could destabilise the US’ domestic semiconductor industry.
Micron was reportedly asked to testify because the company was targeted by China’s government, which said it had failed a security review and banned some domestic organisations from buying Micron chips.
The move was widely seen as retaliation for the US’ export controls.
The bipartisan committee has also recently increased scrutiny of other US firms with large investments or operations in China, including BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager.
The committee has reportedly met privately with Apple chief Tim Cook and top executives from Hollywood, Wall Street and the tech industry.
Competition with China is seen as a key issue ahead of US presidential elections later this year.
Reuters reported on Monday that AI research institutes and military organisations in China continued to buy high-end Nvidia chips in small quantities last year in spite of two rounds of restrictions aimed at preventing them from doing so.