GOP Expands Big Tech Target to Include Chinese Connections

Cathy McMorris Rodgers at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Image credit: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

House Republicans have added a third "pillar" to their Big Tech Accountability Platform, this one dealing with China.

The other parts of the platform, announced earlier this year, deal with responsibility and power.

House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) informed her fellow House E&C Republican members of the expansion of the Republican's Big Tech targets in a memo Wednesday (June 16).

She said they would be exploring policy solutions to issues, including vetting app stores for apps with ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with an eye toward oversight of how Big Tech platforms police those stores, and concerns about China's access to American's information.

Also Read: House Big Tech Antitrust Bill Package Introduced

Among the possible solutions would be requiring companies to notify their American users if any information is stored in China or the company is owned by a Chinese entity, state-owned or otherwise.

Rodgers also said in the memo that Big Tech must do a better job of weeding counterfeit goods from China out of their online marketplaces.

"We must ensure Americans’ information is protected from the CCP, and we expect American tech companies to do more to address the significant threat China poses to the U.S.," said McMorris Rodgers in the memo.

Since the Republicans are in the minority, their policy concerns are note likely to turn into legislation. But Democrats definitely have issues both with Big Tech and China.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.