Britain’s largest microchip factory was taken over by a Chinese company on Monday, raising concerns worldwide about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) growing control over a market that is facing a chip shortage, according to The Telegraph.
The Newport Wafer Fab in South Wales has taken control of the Dutch semiconductor fab, Nexperia, which in turn is controlled by the Chinese electronics company, Wingtech.
Nexperia made use of a contractual clause to take over the Newport Wafer fab, having made an agreement in 2019 whereby the Dutch fab supported Newport Wafer Fab in exchange for putting it up as collateral.
The British firm was unable to meet the stipulated manufacturing agreement as it was badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the global chip shortage so the Dutch firm arranged to settle the £65 million debt in exchange for keeping Newport Wafer Fab.
Before reaching this situation, Newport Wafer Fab tried to avoid the sale by asking the UK government for help and intervention, but despite its concern for national security, it did not come to its aid and the factory is now in the hands of a Chinese firm under the control of the CCP.
This type of maneuver is not new for the CCP. It is usual for them to take advantage and make agreements with poor and needy countries in which they lend them money at very high rates for infrastructure and other projects, and when they cannot comply, they confiscate their assets.
The inaction of the British government in this situation has raised many doubts. Many wonder why it did not use the National Security and Investment Act to prevent the company from falling into the hands of the Chinese regime, as semiconductors and microchips are risky areas to allow Chinese dominance in technology.
As Hong Kong Watch chairman Benedict Rogers told Breitbart London, the Newport Wafer Fab case shows naivety in relations with the Chinese regime and failure to preserve critical industries.
He also said that the National Security and Investment Act was made for these types of acquisitions in which national security is put at risk.
According to Tom Tugendhat, who serves in the British government as head of the China Research Group and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, many of the allied countries were concerned about what happened with the Welsh firm and called on the government to explain itself for turning a blind eye to the situation, especially given the CCP’s track record on such issues.
Last month, Tugendhat sent a letter to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, warning that they should protect local manufacturing resources due to the shortage of semiconductors in the world markets.
The minister’s response was that they thoroughly analyzed the acquisition of the Chinese company and it does not pose a threat to national security.
The deal was praised by a Welsh government spokesman, because 400 jobs were saved and the local government recovered the loan and with interest. However, referring to the Chinese ownership issue, he said that this is a matter for the UK government.
It seems that governments have not become aware of the real danger that the CCP represents to the West and the rest of the world. Simply reviewing its bloody 100-year history would be enough to immediately try to halt its advance.