U-turn for chip manufacturers?: Federal government wants to ban Elmos sales to the Chinese

A Chinese company is looking for a chip manufacturer in Germany via a subsidiary.

U-turn for chip manufacturers?: Federal government wants to ban Elmos sales to the Chinese

A Chinese company is looking for a chip manufacturer in Germany via a subsidiary. The company in question is no longer up to date. Knowledge would not be skimmed off, it was said. Nevertheless, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution warns. Now the cabinet is drawing conclusions from this.

The takeover of Elmos Semiconductor's chip production by the Swedish competitor Silex, a subsidiary of the Chinese group Sai Microelectronics, will probably not be approved. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) has informed the parties involved that the sale of Elmos wafer production to Silex will probably be prohibited in the upcoming cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Elmos announced.

This is a new development, as so far the BMWK has explained to the parties involved that the transaction would probably be approved. In the event of the prohibition, the sale of the wafer production to Silex cannot be completed. After receipt of the decision, the parties involved will examine it in detail and then decide on further steps, the message said.

At the end of last year, Elmos announced that it wanted to sell its wafer production facility in Dortmund to Silex for a total of around 85 million euros. Elmos develops, produces and sells semiconductors primarily for use in cars. With the sale, Elmos wants to give up its own production and instead buy its chips from contract manufacturers.

Most recently, SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert spoke out against permission. "I'm convinced, and many in the SPD are, that we shouldn't do that," he said on "ntv Frühstart". In the chip industry one is strongly dependent on one side. It is true that Elmos is not a "world cliche" for the production of chips. "But if you're already in a bad position for something, then you shouldn't give up what little you have."

According to "Spiegel", Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck also spoke out clearly against a Chinese entry into Elmos. "There is no guarantee that approval will be granted," said an insider.

Previously, however, the "Handelsblatt" had reported that, unlike the dispute over the entry of the Chinese state shipping company Cosco at a terminal in the port of Hamburg, "in the case of Elmos, there should be agreement between the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Ministry of Economics". The chip technology from Elmos is outdated and there is no risk of know-how leaking out. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution advised against the takeover. It's not just about know-how, but about production capacities. According to this, China is making targeted purchases in industries in order to be able to put pressure on individual countries.

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