A congressional investigation has determined that five American venture capital firms invested more than $1 billion in China’s semiconductor industry since 2001, fueling the growth of a sector that the United States government now regards as a national security threat.
Funds supplied by the five firms — GGV Capital, GSR Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Walden International — went to more than 150 Chinese companies, according to the report, which was released Thursday by both Republicans and Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.
The investments included roughly $180 million that went to Chinese firms that the committee said directly or indirectly supported Beijing’s military. That includes companies that the U.S. government has said provide chips for China’s military research, equipment and weapons, such as Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, or SMIC, China’s largest chipmaker.
The report by the House committee focuses on investments made before the Biden administration imposed sweeping restrictions aimed at cutting off China’s access to American financing. It does not allege any illegality.
In August, the Biden administration barred U.S. venture capital and private equity firms from investing in Chinese quantum computing, artificial intelligence and advanced semiconductors. It has also imposed worldwide limits on sales of advanced chips and chip-making machines to China, arguing that these technologies could help advance the capabilities of the Chinese military and spy agencies.
Since it was established a year ago, the committee has called for raising tariffs on China, targeted Ford Motor and others for doing business with Chinese companies, and spotlighted forced labor concerns involving Chinese shopping sites.