British concerns about China's acquisition of the largest manufacturer of microelectronic chips

Britain does not hide its concerns about China's acquisition of the microchip production line, as Newport Wafer Fab, the largest manufacturer in Britain that produces micro-chips, accused a Chinese-owned company of trying to control it, the British newspaper Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

The newspaper pointed out that the administration of the Newport Wafer Fab (NWF) had warned the British government of the existence of such a danger.

For his part, a government spokesman said in a comment to the newspaper: "We are aware of the possibility of transferring control of the NWF to Nexperia, and the government has been in close contact with the NWF at all stages of the development of the situation."

At the moment, he added, the UK government does not see fit to intervene, but it continues to monitor developments closely and will not hesitate to use its potential if the situation changes.

The Dutch company, Nexperia, which was acquired by Chinese electronics company Wingtech in 2019, is the second-largest shareholder in NWF, which earlier announced that its board of directors had been changed at Nexperia's initiative and that the Chinese company may continue attempts to increase its influence.

According to the Sunday Times, Coase Quarting, the UK's Minister of Labor, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, has refused to intervene in a situation that does not pose a threat to national security.

This position drew criticism from the Chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, who pointed out the strategic importance of the semiconductor industry.

Two years ago, a major scandal erupted in the Kingdom when it emerged that the British manufacturer of printed circuit boards, Exception PCB, which has been owned by Shenzhen Fastprint of China since 2013, was producing components for the F-35 fighters.

Currently, Britain's draft bill on national security and investments is in the final stages of obtaining approvals. According to the bill, companies in the country's 17 major industries will have to notify the authorities in cases where more than 15% of their shares are purchased by foreign investors. This initiative is facing criticism from the British business sector, which demands that the threshold be raised to 25%.

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