Obama Blocks Chinese Investor's Takeover Of German Semiconductor Equipment Firm

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:01 AM, December 3, 2016
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Obama Blocks Chinese Investor's Takeover Of German Semiconductor Equipment Firm
Obama Blocks Chinese Investor's Takeover Of German Semiconductor Equipment Firm

Beijing reacted strongly after the Obama administration blocked a Chinese firm’s takeover of Aixtron, Inc., a California based firm which specializing in semiconductor equipment manufacture.

Beijing has appealed to Washington and Berlin to avoid injecting politics into the proposed takeover that is valued at $740 million. “Since it's a normal commercial activity, it will be carried out following the rule of markets and business. We hope the external parties will not over-interpret that or make any political intervention," China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang was quoted as saying by Mainichi Japan, shortly before Washington announced the order on Friday.

On December 2, Obama ordered Fujan Grand Chip to "fully and permanently abandon" its proposed acquisition of Aixtron SE's California-based subsidiary, Aixtron, Inc, Mainichi Japan reports. This is the third time Washington blocks Chinese corporate takeover on security grounds.

In a statement issued Friday evening, the US Treasury Department said in favour of the decision made against China that the "credible evidence that the foreign interest exercising control might take action that threatens to impair national security." Aixtron's technology has "military applications," the statement said.

The German government early this week said that it was reconsidering whether to allow the takeover. A spokeswoman cited "security-related questions" with no further explanation.

Aixtron, based in Herzogenrath, has said that its headquarters, research and development operations and existing technology will remain at its current sites.

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