Tech groups press Congress to fight Chinese restrictions

A handful of U.S. lawmakers have adopted the cause and started lobbying Chinese diplomats and government officials to reconsider the law.

Reps. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) last December implored Chinese Amb. Zhou Wenzhong to cancel the new "indigenous innovation" rule, in light of the fact the policy would "contradict free and open trade."

Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), chairman of his chamber's Foreign Affairs Committee, penned a similar request to the ambassador at the end of last year, which labeled the new law "unprecedented and impractical."

"Ambassador Zhou, I have a full appreciation of the importance of our two countries maintaining a vigorous and amicable commercial relationship, which serves as a pillar of overall U.S.-China bilateral relations," Berman wrote. "This new program would run directly counter to the joint commitment of our two presidents to open trade and investment at their recent meeting in November."
 
However, China has hardly budged on U.S. lawmakers' request. If anything, the diplomatic row has only intensified following concerns that Chinese officials were behind a string of cyberattacks targeting Google and other U.S. businesses.

Ultimately, Dabbs said he and others recognize China is unlikely to reverse its policy immediately. But he did predict Beijing would eventually "come around on this and realize what they're doing is really going to stifle innovation in their own country and not allow for Chinese companies to sell on a global level."

"They [want] to own, operate and innovate everything, and that's just not the way the world works," he said.