Trump blocks Chinese acquisition of US semiconductor firm

Washington : President Donald Trump on Wednesday blocked attempts by a Chinese state-owned firm to acquire an American semiconductor manufacturer on national security concerns, drawing a rebuke from Beijing.

The acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor Corporation, a publicly-traded Oregon company, by Chinese-owned Canyon Bridge Fund could endanger the US government's use of sensitive products the company produces, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The Trump administration has adopted an aggressive stance towards China on trade and national security matters, launching wide-ranging investigations into the national security ramifications of Beijing's trade in aluminum and steel.

Trump has the authority to block foreign investments he deems national security threats through the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, an interagency committee.

In the case of Lattice, CFIUS and the president decided "the transaction poses a risk to the national security of the United States that cannot be resolved through mitigation," the Treasury said in a statement.

The decision prohibited Canyon Bridge, its partner Yitai Capital and Yitai's parent, the China Venture Capital Fund Corp (CVCF), from purchasing the US firm, which serves the consumer, communications and industrial markets.

The Treasury said the deal posed a national security risk due to Beijing's support for the transaction, the potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign investors, and the importance of the semiconductor supply to the US government, including Lattice's products.

China's Ministry of Commerce expressed "concern" over the decision Thursday.

Spokesman Gao Feng told reporters at a regular press briefing that while each country has a right to probe investments in "sensitive fields", the power should not be used as "an instrument for implementing protectionism."

China "hopes relevant countries can treat Chinese companies' overseas acquisitions objectively and impartially, give fair treatment to such normal business practices, and create a reasonable and transparent business environment to avoid impacting investors' confidence," he said, according to a transcript of the remarks on the ministry's website.

Lattice manufactures programmable logic devices, which are semiconductors that can be programmed to provide functions similar to chips, the statement said.

Trump personally intervened in the process after the companies appealed to him directly to overrule the CFIUS ruling, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had also intervened to prevent a similar deal involving semiconductors on security concerns last year.

Chinese government-backed Grand Chip Investment scrapped plans to buy German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron in December after Washington rejected the inclusion of Aixtron's US unit over fears it could put sensitive technology with potential military applications in Chinese hands.

"It is important to note that the US government has been particularly concerned with foreign investment, particularly Chinese investment, into the US semiconductor industry for years," said Lawrence Ward, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney in global business focusing on US national security law.

"It is likely premature to think that the Trump administration is taking a hawkish approach to Chinese investment across all industry sectors but, of course, only time will tell," Ward said.



article-image

Neymar can’t take sole responsibility: coach

Brazil coach Tite warned his country not to heap too much responsibility on Neymar’s slight shoulders after the forward was seen crying after their 2-0 World Cup win over Costa Rica yesterday. Brazil scored twice in stoppage time to move top of Group E but Neymar, who got involved in disc

article-image

South Korea’s Son Heung-minunder pressure

South Korea’s Son Heung-min is bearing the weight of expectation at the World Cup just as heavily as Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane. Even Lionel Messi, whose bid to add a World Cup to his career collection has become something of a communal objective for football, enj

article-image

Germany expects turnaround

World Cup holders Germany face enormous pressure ahead of their second group match against Sweden, dubbed an “early final”, with Joachim Loew’s team knowing defeat today would effectively end their campaign. The pre-tournament talk in Germany focused much on the bid to become

article-image

FBI reunited ‘wrong baby’ with couple!

A man’s quest to find his biological parents unearthed disturbing secrets about the family he says left him abandoned in a shopping centre before he was given to another couple. Paul Fronczak grew up in Chicago with his parents, Dora and Chester Fronczak, and his brother, Dave Fronczak. W

article-image

YouTube offers new ways to earn money

YouTube, often criticized for not compensating creators well enough, will allow them to set up paid channel memberships, the company said on Thursday. Currently the vast majority of revenue at the Google-owned service comes from advertising and that will remain a focus, said Neal Mohan, YouTube


  • Predict & Win - Fifa world cup 2018
article-image

South Korea’s Son Heung-minunder pressure

South Korea’s Son Heung-min is bearing the weight of expectation at the World Cup just as heavily as Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane. Even Lionel Messi, whose bid to add a World Cup to his career collection has become something of a communal objective for football, enj

article-image

Germany expects turnaround

World Cup holders Germany face enormous pressure ahead of their second group match against Sweden, dubbed an “early final”, with Joachim Loew’s team knowing defeat today would effectively end their campaign. The pre-tournament talk in Germany focused much on the bid to become

article-image

FBI reunited ‘wrong baby’ with couple!

A man’s quest to find his biological parents unearthed disturbing secrets about the family he says left him abandoned in a shopping centre before he was given to another couple. Paul Fronczak grew up in Chicago with his parents, Dora and Chester Fronczak, and his brother, Dave Fronczak. W

article-image

YouTube offers new ways to earn money

YouTube, often criticized for not compensating creators well enough, will allow them to set up paid channel memberships, the company said on Thursday. Currently the vast majority of revenue at the Google-owned service comes from advertising and that will remain a focus, said Neal Mohan, YouTube

article-image

Cinema ticket prices rise 16%!

The prices of cinema tickets in the Kingdom have gone up by 16 per cent. An ordinary cinema ticket cost BD3.5 now against the earlier price of BD3. Last hike was in 2008, when the price of tickets were raised 20pc from BD2.5 to BD3. The revised prices had become effective at Bahrain City Ce

article-image

Regional security ‘is top priority’, the Crown Prince

His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, yesterday met the Commander of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), General Joseph L Votel, at Riffa Palace. During the meeting, HRH the Crown Prince highligh

article-image

Revamp work completed at the Dilmun Burial Mounds

The “Dilmun Burial Mounds” Hall at the Bahrain National Museum will re-open on Tuesday following the completion of fiveyear renovation works. The new-look hall features a general idea of what the inside of Dilmun burials looked like and updated information according to the lates

article-image

Saudi Arabia gains on MSCI decision, Dubai stocks rise

Saudi Arabian shares gained yesterday, reflecting largely positive sentiment across the Gulf, after index provider MSCI announced overnight it would add the kingdom’s stock market to its emerging markets benchmark. The addition was expected and Saudi Capital Market Authority Chairma

article-image

Burger King pulls WC ad

Burger King has apologised for an online ad offering burgers to Russian women who get impregnated by football players during the World Cup the country is hosting until July 15. The promotion on the global fast food chain’s account on VK -- a local rival of Facebook -- suggested Russia cou