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China firm could ‘leak’ UK advanced tech to Beijing after plant takeover, claims expert | UK | News

The Chinese agency that carried out the acquisition of the UK’s largest chip plant now owns 100% of Newport Wafer Fab. The corporate, referred to as Wingtech, is closely backed by the Chinese language Communist Occasion, CCP. Wingtech is the Chinese language proprietor of Dutch semiconductor chip agency Nexperia that has acquired the UK’s largest chip plant.

The Welsh chip plant has now been renamed Nexperia Newport and produces superior semiconductor chips that can be utilized in army know-how similar to hypersonic missiles.

The acquisition of the plant, previously often called Newport Wafer Fab, value the Chinese language father or mother firm £63million.

Information from Datenna, which carries out analysis on Chinese language investments and acquisitions, discovered that there was a big Chinese language state affect throughout the corporations main shareholders.

A big stake within the firm is owned by the Chinese language state-controlled Property Supervision and Administration Fee of the State Council, a authorities semiconductor funding funds.

Information from Datenna, which was shared with CNBC, discovered {that a} complete of 30 % of Wingtech’s shares will be traced again to the Chinese language authorities.

Chatting with Specific.co.uk army intelligence professional Anders Corr stated: “The Newport Wafer Fab buy by a China-controlled firm dangers British self-reliance in chip manufacture.

“It additionally dangers a leakage of know-how and design capabilities to the West’s greatest risk.

“It ought to be stoutly resisted by Britons who need to make sure that their auto factories have entry to British-made chips.

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“The Newport facility has a really expert operational group and has an important position to play to make sure continuity of operations. We sit up for constructing a future collectively.”

The sale was additionally met with a optimistic response by Drew Nelson, the departing chairman of Newport Wafer Fab, who stated: “The change in possession of the Newport website marks an essential step for the way forward for the ability in addition to for the area.

“We’re happy that we’re in a position to keep the experience in growing high-end silicon units within the 200 mm wafer fab whereas on the similar time opening up alternatives for us so as to add new semiconductor applied sciences.”

Semiconductors are important for superior weapons programs similar to Hypersonic missiles.

Talking about the usage of semiconductors within the growth of hypersonic weapons, US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo stated in a press release: “Supercomputing capabilities are important for the event of many trendy weapons and nationwide safety programs, similar to nuclear weapons and hypersonic weapons.

“The Division of Commerce will use the complete extent of its authorities to stop China from leveraging US applied sciences to assist these destabilising army modernisation efforts.”

Positioned in Duffryn, Newport, Wales, the plant is certainly one of only a handful of semiconductor fabricators within the UK.

Nexperia has been contacted for touch upon attainable safety issues however haven’t but replied.

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