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The UK business secretary puts Wingtech's acquisition of Newport fab in 'national security review'

  • May 27, 2022
  • 508

International e-commerce news, in early April, we reported that "the British government agreed to China's acquisition of the Newport Wafer Fab", and then at the end of April, 9 US congressmen jointly signed a letter calling on Biden to intervene , to block the Nexperia merger. They suggested in the letter that if the UK does not accept US intervention, the US should include the Newport fab on the export control list, and even remove the UK from the "white list" of sensitive technology exports.


On May 25, UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng tweeted that the takeover had been called for a full national security review.


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Kwasi Kwarteng claimed that it will conduct a comprehensive assessment under the new National Security and Investment Act, "We welcome overseas investment, but it cannot threaten the national security of the UK." It is worth noting that the previous British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked last year when Whether he would sell the semiconductor maker said he did not want to drive Chinese investment out of the UK because of an "anti-China spirit".


Newport Wafer Fab is the largest chip manufacturer in the UK, but compared with leading chip manufacturers such as TSMC and UMC, Newport Wafer Fab is not large and is currently in a state of loss. The plant currently employs about 450 people.


According to the latest news from the British media, Wingtech executives will soon fly to the UK in person to meet with senior officials of the British government. Nexperia CEO Toni Versluijs also further stated: Nexperia is a Dutch company with a long European history, so there is no national security issue.


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On July 5, 2021, Wingtech Technology issued an announcement announcing that it has signed a relevant acquisition agreement with NWF parent company NEPTUNE 6 LIMITED and its shareholders through Nexperia Semiconductors. Still, the deal has sparked a backlash in other countries.

On July 7, 2021, the UK government announced that it would investigate the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab (NWF), the UK’s largest semiconductor manufacturer, by China’s Wingtech’s Nexperia, which has sparked concerns from UK lawmakers. Concerns about national security, high-tech future.

On July 22, 2021, Reuters quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that the UK Research and Innovation Authority (UKRI) had been instructed by the authorities to suspend funding to NWF, the UK’s largest chip maker. The reason is that on July 5, China Wingtech Technology has acquired it through its subsidiary Nexperia. Paradoxically, when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked if he would continue (permit) the sale of NWF to Chinese-owned Nexperia, he said he did not want to drive Chinese investors out of "anti-China sentiment" U.K.

On April 5, 2022, the British Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee issued a 26-page report on the incident. The report included the organization's previous concerns and urgings on foreign investment and the impact on British national security. The British government's response to Nexperia's acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab, and a review recommendation at the end of the report, urges the British government to follow up and strengthen the review of this national security acquisition.

On April 21, 2022, nine U.S. congressmen jointly wrote a letter calling on Biden to intervene and block the Nexperia merger. In their letter, they suggested that if the U.S. does not accept U.S. intervention, the U.S. should include the Newport fab in exports. The control list has even removed the UK from the "white list" of sensitive technology exports.


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