The German government has blocked a Chinese company from acquiring a German medical device manufacturer to ensure “public order or security”.
German media Handelsblatt, citing government sources, reported on Wednesday, April 27, that Berlin has stopped Beijing-based Aeonmed Group, a medical equipment maker, from buying Heyer Medical AG with more than 130 years of experience in healthcare technology.
The report added that the ban went to the cabinet on Wednesday.
Aeonmed Group had already completed the acquisition in March 2020, but now it is no longer valid due to Foreign Trade Act.
In recent years, Germany and other EU member states have become increasingly concerned about Chinese takeovers.
Chinese firms have bought or acquired controlling stakes in airports, ports and high-tech companies, gaining access to key technology from European companies.
Therefore, on June 18, 2020, the German authorities tightened rules by issuing Foreign Trade Act which gives the government the rights to review, block transactions of non-EU investors owning 10% shares in German firms.
This policy aims to protect domestic firms from unwanted acquisitions by these investors, especially from increased investment in major sectors by Chinese enterprises.
The report also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the German government the importance of maintaining its own ventilator manufacturers and not relying on non-EU companies.
According to Reuters, in December 2020, Berlin managed to block China Aerospace and Industry Group, a subsidiary of Chinese state-run missile maker, from purchasing Germany satellite and radar technology firm IMST.