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Obama to ‘block’ Chinese takeover of technology firm Aixtron on national security grounds

US President Barack Obama is poised to block a Chinese company from buying Germany’s Aixtron, people familiar with the matter said, which would mark only the third time in more than a quarter of a century that the White House has rejected an investment by an overseas buyer as a national security risk.

The president is expected on Friday to uphold a recommendation by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US that the sale of the semiconductor equipment supplier to China’s Grand Chip Investment should be stopped, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified as the details are not public.

Blocking the 670 million euro (HK$5.5 billion) acquisition would mark the second time Obama has rejected a deal on national security grounds. The first was in 2012 when he stopped Chinese-owned Ralls Corp from developing a wind farm near a Navy base in Oregon. Before that in 1990 then-president George H.W. Bush stopped a Chinese acquisition of MAMCO Manufacturing, an aircraft parts maker.

The Committee on Foreign Investment reviews purchases of US companies by foreign buyers and pays particular attention to purchases of technology, especially when it has defence applications. It has a say in the Aixtron deal because the company has a subsidiary in California and employs about 100 people in the US where it generates about 20 per cent of its sales.

Read the full article in all its glory over at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2051155/obama-block-chinese-takeover-technology-firm-aixtron

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