The UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, has announced that the UK Government opposed the sale of Pulsic Limiteda Bristol-based company, to Super Orange HK, a Chinese company.
Britain in a defensive posture against China
The United Kingdom has taken a historic decision, which will certainly set a precedent in the future. The decision to block a sale to a Chinese company for ” national security is not common and can offend diplomatic relations between two countries. However, the British government blocked the sale of a company that develops software to design electronic chips to a Chinese firm.
It is the latest move by Britain as part of its increasingly defensive stance on industrial property rights over British technology companies. The official notice published and signed by Kwasi Kwarteng states that the Minister of Business has given this order under the National Security Act and the 2021 investment (NSIA). A text that entered into force at the beginning of this year. This has the effect of preventing the sale of Pulsic Limited.
A risk of national security » according to the government
This company manufactures planning, placement and routing tools used in the design and development of circuits for microchips. The company claims that its products are suitable for “ extreme design challenges and advanced nodes “. In the official announcement we can read that the sale was considered as a potential national security risk to the UK because the tools developed by Pulsic and the expertise they contain qualify as sensitive technologies.
According to the British government, the technologies were developed by the Bristol company ” could be used to create advanced integrated circuits, which themselves could be used to develop a civilian or military supply chain “. Some experts believe instead that Britain, like its American counterpart, is considering the development of an advanced semiconductor industry in China. as a threat in itself.
Super Orange HK was founded in Hong Kong by a company called Nanjing Puxin Software. It is owned by Shanghai UniVista Industrial Software Group, a company backed by China’s National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund. An entity created in 2014 to boost the development of China’s semiconductor industry, and known in China as ” The big fund “.