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The United States appears poised to heighten scrutiny of Chinese investment in Silicon Valley to better shield sensitive technologies seen as vital to US national security.
US President Donald Trump’s threat to block Chinese investment in US companies could be trouble for a number of American automotive and technology companies using Chinese funds to develop electric and self-driving cars and related services, from Tesla Inc to dozens of Silicon Valley startups.
The US Treasury Department is drafting curbs that would block firms with at least 25% Chinese ownership from buying US companies with "industrially significant technology," a government official briefed on the matter said on June 24.
New Trump administration policies aimed at curbing China's access to American innovation have all but halted Chinese investment in US technology startups, as both investors and startup founders abandon deals amid scrutiny from Washington.
The United States doesn’t want to harm its own economy and make bilateral relations more hostile by excluding more Chinese investment than necessary.
China's Foreign Ministry expressed displeasure on Dec 5 after President Barack Obama blocked a Chinese investment fund from acquiring the US business of German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron.
Synaptics Inc is moving closer to a deal with a Chinese investment group that values the touchscreen chip maker at more than US$110 per share, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The biggest shareholder in German semiconductor manufacturing equipment maker Aixtron, Argonaut Capital, said the government's plan to review an agreed takeover by Chinese investment fund Fujian Grand Chip was "irresponsible".
Danhua Capital has invested in some of Silicon Valley's most promising startups in areas like drones, artificial intelligence and cyber security. The venture capital firm is based just outside Stanford University, the epicentre of US technology entrepreneurship.
In recent years, Silicon Valley startups have increasingly attracted foreign investment, much of it from China. The jolt of capital has made it easier for young companies to raise money and for US investors to sell their stakes. That influx of foreign money is now under threat.