Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher, chair of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, urged the US Commerce Department to consider trade curbs on Group 42 Holdings. AFP

A key US lawmaker has called on Washington to mull trade curbs on Emirati artificial intelligence firm Group 42 Holdings (G42) over its ties with China, according to a letter released Tuesday.

Mike Gallagher, the Republican chair of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, raised concerns over the firm's business links with Chinese military companies, state-owned entities and intelligence services.

"G42 maintains active relationships with blacklisted entities such as Huawei and Beijing Genomics Institute," said Gallagher in a letter to the Department of Commerce dated last week.

He added that G42 chief executive Peng Xiao runs and is affiliated with "an expansive network" of Emirati and China-based companies developing dual-use technologies and which support human rights abuses.

He urged for Commerce to consider if the company, alongside 13 subsidiaries and affiliates, should be added to a trade blacklist.

Companies added to the so-called Entity List are restricted from obtaining US items and technologies without government authorization.

US companies that have commercial ties with G42 and its subsidiaries include Microsoft, Dell and OpenAI.

"Without restrictions on G42, the hardware and software developed by these U.S. companies are at significant risk for diversion to G42's PRC-based affiliates," Gallagher's letter said, referring to the People's Republic of China.

Many of these affiliates, he added, "support the CCP's surveillance state and human rights abuses."

The letter marks the latest push by Gallagher and his Select Committee to heighten scrutiny over trade flows involving China and take action against companies with links to Beijing.

Last week, the committee urged for internet device firm Quectel Wireless Solutions -- a Chinese company -- to be blacklisted as a "Chinese military company."

In his latest letter, Gallagher asked for a "detailed explanation" by February 2 if the Commerce Department deemed that G42 or its affiliates did not need to be put on the trade blacklist.