Dhe federal cabinet has prohibited the sale of a chip production facility by the Dortmund-based company Elmos to a Chinese investor. The German Press Agency learned this from government circles on Wednesday.
The decision is based on an impending threat to public safety in Germany. Milder means such as an approval subject to conditions are not suitable for averting these dangers. Elmos himself had said in a press release that the sale of the wafer production to Silex Microsystems would be “presumably prohibited” by the government.
According to dpa information, the cabinet also prohibited another Chinese investment. The “Handelsblatt” had reported that the federal government wanted to prohibit the acquisition of the Bavaria-based company ERS Electronic by a Chinese investor. ERS Electronic is a global company in the semiconductor equipment industry.
After the dispute within the government about the participation of the Chinese shipping company Cosco in the operator of a container terminal at the port of Hamburg – Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had enforced this against Habeck’s advice – the Elmos case was the focus of attention.
At the end of last year, Elmos announced that it wanted to sell its wafer production facility in Dortmund to the Swedish competitor Silex for EUR 85 million. Silex, in turn, is a subsidiary of the Chinese Sai Group. According to the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance, manufacturers of microelectronics are among the sensitive economic sectors in which participations and takeovers by investors from non-EU countries in Germany must be carefully examined.
At first it looked as if the government wanted to allow Elmo’s business. The technology used by the company was classified as not very innovative. But after the debate about the Cosco case and the demonstration of power by China’s President Xi Jinping at the CP Congress, there are now many indications that Habeck wants to set an example with the ban.