The British authorities decided to stop spending taxpayer money on the development of the country’s largest semiconductor factory. This happened after the production was sold to a Chinese technology company.
Local UK Research and Investment (UKRI) has blocked further government grants from Newport Wafer Fab after it was sold to one of China’s tech giants, Nexperia, and blocked investments already envisaged.
It is known that before the sale of Nexperia, the factory completed more than 12 projects with government support, including one worth $ 5.2 million related to defense developments.
Earlier this month, Newport Wafer Fab was acquired by Dutch company Nexperia, itself owned by Chinese Wingtech, which in turn is partly owned by Beijing investors.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered National Security Adviser Sir Stephen Lovegrove to evaluate the deal in the coming weeks. Parliamentary pressure on the government intensified after it was revealed that Newport Wafer Fab is involved in projects to develop advanced radar and satellite systems along with defense companies Leonardo, MBDA and Arris.
In total, the plant is involved in more than 12 programs with state funding totaling almost $ 70 million and is a key partner in one of the government’s defense projects. “Therefore, we need a full review of the solution from a national security perspective.”– said the chairman of the Election Committee on Foreign Affairs Tom Tugendhat (Tom Tugendhat).
In 2019, Newport Wafer Fab received significant funding from scientific, commercial and government organizations in the UK, as well as spent millions of its own to develop special chips for use in communications systems such as radars and 5G networks. This was expected to allow the UK to strengthen its supply chain for the relevant components. It is not yet known if the project will be transferred to another company of businessman Drew Nelson, who sold Newport Wafer Fab to Nexperia two weeks ago.
The Newport Wafer Fab sold for about $ 90 million, and Nexperia implemented the “contractual right” it received back in 2019. The government assessed the deal and admitted that there were no reasons for blocking it, nevertheless Boris Johnson ordered a new investigation after MPs expressed concern about the sale of a strategically important object.
Nexperia says that the company is ready to resolve any issues that arise and clarified that it has a large number of shareholders who are not associated with the Chinese authorities.
If you notice an error, select it with the mouse and press CTRL + ENTER.