Ministers could stop Chinese takeover of Britain’s biggest chip factory on national security grounds
The Chinese buyer of Britain’s biggest chip factory has admitted the deal could be reversed after a review by the Government.
Shanghai-based Wingtech swooped on Newport Wafer Fab last month following a corporate dispute, using its Dutch subsidiary Nexperia to make the purchase.
However, despite announcing that the deal had now completed, the firm said the takeover could still be ‘affected by factors such as domestic and foreign industry policies’.
Chip deal: A worker at the Newport Wafer Fab microchip factory. Shanghai-based Wingtech swooped on the facility using its Dutch subsidiary Nexperia to make the purchase
Its warning comes as Stephen Lovegrove, Boris Johnson’s national security adviser, is reviewing the deal on behalf of the Prime Minister.
A decision could be made soon, with ministers wielding powers under the new National Security and Investment Act if they believe the deal poses a risk to the UK.
With a shortage of chips globally, critics of the deal say the ability to produce them domestically has become more important and are warning against giving China a stranglehold over supplies.
Ciaran Martin, former director of GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre, has said the ‘sovereign capacity’ to make such components should be protected.