back to article Questions asked about Chinese takeover of UK tech company

A UK Member of Parliament has called on government to review the purchase of a Cambridge-based fabless semiconductor biz which turns out to have been taken over by a Chinese organization with links to the state. Alicia Kearns MP, Conservative representative for Rutland and Melton and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has …

  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The Ticking Time Bombe Well Primed and Ripe Ready to Radically Explode

    A much more disturbing problem for the UK would be its failure to purchase and retain for the exclusive advantage and interest of UK National Security and Investment, any novelty with access to home grown secrets of interest to both foreign state and domestic non-state actors ...... for that is where and to whom such a disinterest will be naturally shared and exported/imported.

    It is all very well leaderships spouting the rhetoric of growing the economy and tackling the scourge of rising and crippling inflation, but that can never ever happen if one does not recognise why one is failing after decades of trying ..... and remedying it with something which would quite obviously be a perfectly novel fix, rather than just continually patching everything with the usual pathetic traditional default, risible non-stick sticking plasters.

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: The Ticking Time Bombe Well Primed and Ripe Ready to Radically Explode

      Sterling has depreciated by around 25% over the last 10 years and rivers lakes and the sea are full of turds.

  2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    over by a Chinese organization with links to the state.

    Now that's an understatement. Every Chinese organisation is linked to the state, the same way as e.g. BEIS is linked to the UK state.

    These organisations are de facto Chinese government departments disguised as corporations, so that gullible politicians can easier sell any such sale to their electorate.

    Chinese state buys semiconductor company vs Chinese organisation with links to the state buys semiconductor company sound different and the latter may even sound palatable, but these are the same things.

    We should have never allowed any state to buy private or publicly listed corporations and especially a state that is violating human rights and is engaging in genocide and concentration camps.

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      "We should have never allowed any state to buy private or publicly listed corporations and especially a state that is violating human rights and is engaging in genocide and concentration camps." Like the US of A?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everything for sale... or not.

    Well if this Chinese outfit isn't allowed to buy it, where is the investment going to come from? It's all very well Conservative MPs going on about selling out our IP to hostile foreign powers but if they aren't going to promote alternative routes for the business to develop, the inventors will just go elsewhere on the grounds that developing a startup in the UK won't get local money and won't get foreign money, so why bother being here. Back to the days of the Brain Drain!

    So what to do? Government support? - oh, no, that would be Picking Winners a la 1970s! (Anyone remember Edward Heath...)

    Other private equity? Well, decide then who's legitimate (US? Middle East? BRICS?) and come up with a policy.

    But we can't go on with this dog in the manger attitude if we want hi-tech business to grow in the UK.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Everything for sale... or not.

      The problem is that Conservatives have mismanaged the economy so badly, there is a situation where otherwise healthy corporations become dependent on external help in order to survive.

      SMEs especially are struggling, because of high tax and hostile tax man, bureaucracy, poor quality of public services, rampant corruption, high costs of employment and low reward for the workers, no level playing field (big corporations can avoid paying taxes while small businesses are hounded for every penny) and so on.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Everything for sale... or not.

        Thus it always has been, unfortunately. There have been periods of relative enlightenment born of enlightened self-interest but by and large the only thing that has ever counted in the UK is whether The City can make money off it.

        The problem with this is, of course, you've got to have something to actually fuel the economy. A thriving industrial or mining/resource sector, for example. Or maybe a whole bunch of colonies to exploit. But that's past glories. Conservatives carry on as if there's always unlimited fish in the sea, trees in the forest or other resources to exploit.

        The fundamental problem we have with China is that they're beating us at our own game. They have a productive economy which is generating surplus cash that needs a home. All those consumer goods and Christmas tat you've been buying needs to be paid for and ultimately that comes down to exchanging other things of value for them. Like equity in companies, for example (and, unfortunately, their IP). You could try investing locally and restricting imports -- the Labour government did this post WW2 -- but this is unpopular, what everyone wants is cheap credit and the illusion of prosperity.

        BTW -- Anyone noticed that houses are getting a bit expensive. (Any idea about what that says about the value of the pound?)

        1. Youngone Silver badge

          Re: Everything for sale... or not.

          I'm old and can remember when China decided to open itself to the West and courted foreign capital.

          Many of us objected, saying that we shouldn't prop up an authoritarian regime, but we were told that trade was the way to liberalisation because as people get richer they want political freedoms also, so we could help the Chinese become a democracy.

          This was a lie.

          China has used the greed of capitalism against itself and stories like this illustrate that quite well.

          I have stopped caring, because it makes no difference to me which awful greedy capitalist owns everything.

          1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

            Re: Everything for sale... or not.

            China has provided a solution for ever increasing movement of people demanding more workers' rights, more safety nets and so on.

            Domestic manufacturing of anything has become very expensive and so corporations took the Chinese offer - you can freely abuse and exploit our workers, so you can still make your products and your countries can enjoy the facade, the feeling of being progressive.

            Eventually every single company had to move manufacturing to China in order to remain competitive.

            Our once powerful country has become merely a call centre management and all sort of services provider.

            Now that we don't manufacture anything worthwhile, there is no education to train people to make anything. Why if the nearest job is in Shenzen and they won't hire you?

            Now they are taking care of services. First IR35 to kill business to business engagements, next will be more regulations to kill b2c for SMEs.

            China takes manufacturing, India services.

        2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

          Re: Everything for sale... or not.

          BTW -- Anyone noticed that houses are getting a bit expensive. (Any idea about what that says about the value of the pound?)

          Houses are bitcoin for the rich - they use it as a store of value. It's a grave mistake that government has not banned residential property as an investment vehicle.

          1. bigtimehustler

            Re: Everything for sale... or not.

            How do you decide if its an investment vehicle? If I buy it a renovate it, then rent it out, is it an investment vehicle? What if I sell it immediately for profit once the renovation is done? If its banned who does this work?

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Perhaps you know differently, although all available evidence does clearly enough show ....

    The root persistently self-destructive and endemic self-servering problem lies first and foremost in the arrogance of conservatives and Conservatives and all others of a similarly politically incorrect ilk from wherever, no matter whether on the right or the left of the great social divide, imagining any contentious Proprietary Intellectual Property be actually theirs to buy or sell, or block the sale of, to A.N.Others with the simple exchange of vast amounts of flash fast cash/excessive credit and unlimited personal drawing rights from the banking system for that which is available and offered and the cause for disreputable concern and illuminating dispute.

    Their covetous and sordid antics lead them and their followers to nowhere good, fit and proper and on constant ignominious journeys to bad destinations with nothing there ever worthy arriving for.

    J’accuse .... and deny them GOD given rights over that which is not theirs to trade from VIPIPs [Very Influential Proprietary Intellectual Property vendors/holders] comfortably utilising and expanding opportunities effortlessly delivered by controls in and command of cyberspace and AILOVERs [Advanced IntelAIgent Live Operational Virtual Environment Realms] .... which is something else for sale and/or lend-lease over which they would have no valid proprietary claim.

  5. Robert Grant

    After our vigorous defence of GIFs I would say everything is in our interest to not allow.

  6. clyde666

    China - so what?

    The seller took the money and nobody raised an eyebrow.

    The purchaser has been open about who they are. Now eyebrows have been raised.

    The Chinese need to learn how real capitalists do this. Obfuscate your ownership through anonymous secret offshore companies and trusts.

    Do it the big boy way.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: China - so what?

      And as simple as registering your remote agency purchasing services with their London office of the Chinese Embassy in Portland Place, clyde666

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