The government has ordered the Chinese-backed firm that owns Britain’s largest semi-conductor factory to sell most of its stake in the business on national security grounds.
Late last night an order issued by the business secretary means the Dutch company Nexperia, a subsidiary of Chinese outfit Wingtech, will now need to sell 86 per cent of what was previously called Newport Wafer Fab.
The government said the Chinese-backed firm’s role could lead to “know-how” that could “undermine UK capabilities.”
The move is the latest in a line of interventions by the government regarding Chinese involvement in the UK economy.
Most notably, the UK decided to effectively boot out Chinese telecoms firm Huawei from the country’s 5G network.
Semi-conductors are an increasingly vital part of the global economy and advocates of the government’s move have long argued that Chinese firm’s involvement in critical technology could leave back-doors in the UK’s defences.
Nexperia said tonight they were “genuinely shocked” by the decision.
“The decision is wrong and we will appeal to overturn this divestment order to protect over 500 jobs in Newport.
“This decision sends a clear signal that the UK is closed for business (and is) not levelling up but levelling down communities like South Wales.”