London on Wednesday ordered a Chinese-owned company to sell its shares in Britain’s leading semiconductor maker. “Following a detailed national security assessment, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has decided to issue a final order requiring Nexperia to sell at least 86% of Newport Wafer Fab to protect against potential national security risks,” a government spokesman said. said in a statement.
In his official directive, Secretary of State Grant Shapps indicated that there was a risk associated with “technology and know-how […] which could compromise the capacity of the United Kingdom”.
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An increasingly tense context
Dutch company Nexperia, which is owned by Chinese smartphone giant Wingtech, completed the purchase of Newport Wafer Fab for an undisclosed amount in July 2021.
The announcement comes amid increasingly strained relations between London and Beijing and scrutiny of Chinese companies’ investments abroad.
In 2020, London banned Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from deploying 5G broadband equipment in the UK after concerns in the US about Chinese espionage risks angered Beijing.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak came to power last month, adopting a tough tone on China while signaling his desire to trade with the country.
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