CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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U.S. ‘Warned’ Germany on Aixtron Acquisition by Firm from China

German authorities recently announced the withdrawal of its approval for Chinese takeover of German firm Aixtron.

(Photo : https://pixabay.com/en/board-circuit-control-center-410099/) Aixtron is a manufacturer of semiconductor equipment.

US intelligence services are believed to be behind Germany's decision to re-examine the Aixtron deal with a firm from China.

German authorities recently announced the withdrawal of its approval for Chinese takeover of German firm Aixtron, a manufacturer of semiconductor equipment. Accordingly, the reason for such move is the previously unknown security information.

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According to the newspaper Handelsblatt, the US authorities told Germany that the technology may potentially be used for military purposes.

The German ministry did not issue any comment on the newspaper report. It stated that no details may be provided about the "origin or the nature" of the information.

The ministry confirmed, though, that while taking a decision, it will in principle take into cognizance the information received from foreign intelligence agencies. The spokesperson for the ministry further stated that the review process may likely take two to three months after the proper collection of the relevant data.

The publication claimed that the American authorities showed evidence to the representatives of German ministries, but such was reportedly not handed over to the latter.

Earlier this year, the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) blocked Philips from selling its Lumileds LED business to Chinese buyers. The committee reviews acquisition deals from the viewpoint of national security.

Fujian-based Grand Chip Investment Fund had signed the deal with Aixtron for $732 million. However, following the approval's withdrawal, Aixtron shares plunged below the Euro 6 mark. Aixtron said it has not received any enquiries from the ministry, so far.

German authorities are increasingly becoming concerned about the growing Chinese acquisition of German businesses. 

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