Chinese takeover of tech company blocked over security fears

The Government has blocked the takeover of a Bristol-based electronic design company by a Hong Kong rival in a fresh sign if Britain’s increasing hostility to Chinese investment. The Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who is tipped by some Conservatives to be the next chancellor, ruled that stopping the acquisition of Pulsic, whose software can be used to build circuits, by Super Orange HK was “necessary and proportionate to mitigate the risk to national security”. Pulsic’s intellectual property and software “could be used to build defence or technological capabilities,” said the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis). Its products could “facilitate the building of cutting-edge integrated circuits” used in a “civilian or military supply chain,” Beis added. Mr Kwarteng’s decision signals the UK’s increasing aversion to Chinese involvement in its economy, spurred by deteriorating ties between the two countries over human rights, defence and security concerns. Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss has vowed to crack down on Chinese-owned companies such as TikTok and warned Britain should not be strategically dependent on China. Stopping the Super Orange HK acquisition comes as Westminster works to end China General Nuclear Power’s involvement in UK nuclear power projects. Boris Johnson’s administration also blocked...

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