BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s economy ministry has recommended the government block a Chinese takeover of the Elmos chip factory, saying it would pose a threat to national security, officials said on Tuesday. Ministry sources.
Softer measures, such as an injunction, are not suitable to deal with the identified dangers, the sources added.
Elmos said on Monday that the German government would likely block the sale to competitor Silex, a Swedish subsidiary of Chinese group Sai Microelectronics.
The sources said the economy ministry and government are currently working on a China strategy that focuses on reducing one-sided dependencies and encouraging diversification, as well as protecting infrastructure and preventing technology leakage.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said during a trip to Beijing last week that it was clear China and Germany were not in favor of “decoupling”, while complaining about increased difficulties for German companies to enter the Chinese market.
Concerns over the extent of Chinese influence in German businesses came to the fore last month after Scholz pushed through a decision allowing Chinese shipping giant Cosco to take a stake in a terminal at the biggest port. of the country, triggering unprecedented protests within his own governing coalition. .
In this case, the cabinet approved a 24.9% investment by Cosco, less than the originally planned 35% stake, and it gives Cosco no say in management or strategic decisions.
The decision drew an angry response from the Foreign Ministry, which warned that the investment disproportionately extends China’s strategic influence and, in the event of a crisis, would open up the possibility for China to politically instrumentalize a part of Germany’s critical infrastructure.
(Reporting by Markus Wacket, Writing by Miranda MurrayEditing by Paul Carrel and Louise Heavens)