A British microchip-maker whose owner has alleged links to China’s military has reportedly been handed £3m in government support over the last decade.
Lincoln-based Dynex Semiconductor – a company ultimately owned by Beijing-headquartered CRRC Corporation – has applied for and been given millions of pounds in research grants from the government, according to The Telegraph.
Most of the funds were awarded by the Innovate UK agency, which receives taxpayer cash.
The China-backed company also secured multiple research contracts with UK universities to study new types of semiconductors for electric vehicles, batteries and renewable power generation.
Its most recent grant funding was secured last February and runs until 2024.
Dynex’s technology includes high power semiconductors and switches for trains, electric cars and industrial machines.
Its technology is also applicable for hydrogen power and nuclear fusion.
CRRC has full ownership of Dynex – snapping up a 75 per cent stake in the company in 2008, before buying the remaining shares in 2022.
The firm is majority owned by the “Assets Supervision and Administration Commission”, an arm of the Chinese state.
This according to Chinese company filings analysed by Datenna, and shared with The Telegraph.
It was accused by Washington’s Pentagon of being a “Chinese military company” and placed on a blacklist last October.
The UK government and Dynex have both been approached for comment on the report.
Concerns have previously been raised that Dynex’s technology may have been transferred to China, according to a Sunday Times report back in 2018.
In 2021, MPs of the Defence Select Committee cited the story in a report on foreign investment in the UK’s supply chain. The Westminster body warned CRRC could have used the insight from the acquisition to develop “Chinese navy railguns.”
The UK has been tightening up its controls on Chinese investment in recent years as a result of national security concerns.
MPs of multiple leading committee groups raised concerns over China’s role in the North Sea earlier this month to City A.M.
Ministers also recently blocked the takeover of a chip plant in Newport by Nexperia, a Dutch company owned by China.