Germany reviewing possible Chinese takeover of chip factory

Germany reviewing possible Chinese takeover of chip factory

Germany, along with EU partners, has been taking  a closer look at Chinese investment in sensitive areas
Germany, along with EU partners, has been taking a closer look at Chinese investment in sensitive areas. Photo: Omer MESSINGER / AFP
Source: AFP

PAY ATTENTION: Сheck out news that is picked exactly for YOU ➡️ find “Recommended for you” block on the home page and enjoy!

The German government is reviewing a possible sale of a local chip factory to a Chinese-owned firm, sources said Thursday, despite the reported concerns of intelligence agencies.

Government officials speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP that they were assessing the potential impact of a takeover of Dortmund-based Elmos by Sweden's Silex, a unit of Chinese company Sai MicroElectronics.

"There is an ongoing investment review procedure," one official said. "The checks have begun, are continuing and are not finished."

The overture by the Chinese firm comes ahead of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's visit to China next week as the first European Union leader to make the trip since November 2019.

And it coincides with growing fears within his coalition government and among intelligence officials about the risks of critical infrastructure and intellectual property falling into foreign hands.

Read also

Israel, Lebanon expected to sign 'historic' maritime border deal

Business daily Handelsblatt had reported earlier that Berlin intends to green-light the deal, possibly as early as next week.

PAY ATTENTION: Click “See First” under the “Following” tab to see YEN.com.gh News on your News Feed!

In contrast with other recent controversial acquisitions, the chancellery and the economy ministry are in agreement on Elmos and inclined to approve the takeover as the company's technology is not state of the art, according to the report.

However the domestic security watchdog, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, warned against the sale, saying that Chinese control of key production capacity was enough to allow Beijing to apply pressure on Germany, Handelsblatt reported.

The Office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Security concerns

Elmos, which primarily builds components for the automobile industry, said late last year it intended to sell the production facility at its headquarters.

Read also

Credit Suisse chief unveils master plan to fix bank's woes

Silex is seeking to buy the site and its supplies for 85 million euros (dollars), which would allow Elmos to shed its own production activities and sell its chips to manufacturing contractors.

Germany's coalition government on Wednesday allowed a Chinese firm to buy a reduced stake in a Hamburg port terminal, after Scholz resisted calls to ban the disputed sale outright over security concerns.

Under a tenuous compromise agreed by Scholz's cabinet, Chinese shipping giant Cosco has the go-ahead to buy a stake "below 25 percent" in the Tollerort container terminal owned by HHLA.

Germany, along with EU partners, has in recent years taken a closer look at Chinese investment in sensitive technologies and other areas, and reserves the right to veto acquisitions.

The issue has gained urgency in light of the breakdown in ties with Russia over the Ukraine war due to the once heavy dependence of Europe's top economy on Moscow's energy supplies.

New feature: Сheck out news that is picked for YOU ➡️ find “Recommended for you” block on the home page and enjoy!

Source: AFP

AFP avatar

AFP AFP text, photo, graphic, audio or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. AFP news material may not be stored in whole or in part in a computer or otherwise except for personal and non-commercial use. AFP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in any AFP news material or in transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages whatsoever. As a newswire service, AFP does not obtain releases from subjects, individuals, groups or entities contained in its photographs, videos, graphics or quoted in its texts. Further, no clearance is obtained from the owners of any trademarks or copyrighted materials whose marks and materials are included in AFP material. Therefore you will be solely responsible for obtaining any and all necessary releases from whatever individuals and/or entities necessary for any uses of AFP material.

Online view pixel