THE takeover of a Newport-based microchip manufacturer by a Chinese-owned company has been called in for a “full national security assessment”, the UK Government said.

The move follows growing pressure from MPs amid concerns that Duffryn-based Newport Wafer Fab, one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of semiconductors, has been acquired by a “strategic competitor”.

Boris Johnson said in July 2021 that he had asked National Security Adviser Sir Stephen Lovegrove to look at the reported £63 million purchase by Nexperia, a company said to be linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

However in a report last month, the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee said there was no sign that any investigation had begun.

It questioned why the UK Government had not used its powers under the National Security and Investment Act to step in.

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In a statement, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has finally called in the takeover.

Under the terms of the legislation, ministers have the power to scrutinise and, if necessary, intervene in the acquisition on national security grounds.

The UK Government has an initial period of 30 working days – potentially extendable by up to 45 days – to carry out that assessment.

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