27 May 2022 -

UK MP launches inquiry into wafer fab takeover amid semiconductor shortages

Silicon wafer

The UK business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has launched an inquiry into the proposed takeover of the UK’s largest microchip manufacturer, Newport Wafer Fab, by Chinese-backed Nexperia reports The Guardian.

Kwarteng tweeted, “I called-in the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia, a [Dutch] subsidiary of a Chinese company [Wingtech]. There will now be a full assessment under the new National Security and Investment Act. We welcome overseas investment, but it must not threaten Britain’s national security.”

The use of chips for military purposes means access to them is considered a national security matter.

Darren Jones, who chairs the parliament’s business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) committee told The Guardian, “We’ll be considering the government’s assessment of the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab and how this fits into the wider semiconductor supply chain in the UK.”

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