Trump Blocks China-Backed Bid to Buy US Chip Maker

The Trump administration blocked the sale of Lattice Semiconductor citing national security concerns

"The national security risk posed by the transaction relates to, among other things, the potential transfer of intellectual property to the foreign acquirer.the importance of semiconductor supply chain integrity to the USA government, and the use of Lattice products by the US government".

In the case of Lattice, CFIUS and the president decided "the transaction poses a risk to the national security of the United States that can not be resolved through mitigation", the Treasury said in a statement.

The acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor Corporation, a publicly-traded OR company, by Chinese-owned Canyon Bridge Fund could endanger the United States government's use of sensitive products the company produces, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The government is also examining an agreement by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group to buy a stake in SkyBridge Capital, the fund-management company founded by Anthony Scaramucci, who was briefly Trump's White House communications director.

The blocking of the deal could foretell trouble for other deals under review, including the proposed purchase of MoneyGram International by a Chinese financial services company.

The planned acquisition was one of the largest by a Chinese-backed firm in the US chip sector. FPGAs and other programmable chips are increasingly being seen as potential tools for machine learning and other applications pertaining to artificial intelligence.

Lattice, which has largely exited the defense business, went to uncommon lengths in hopes of saving its $1.3 billion sale to Canyon Bridge, which was first announced in November.

This time he used his power to block business deals under the Defense Production Act, which authorizes the president to to suspend or prohibit certain acquisitions that result in foreign control of a USA business when there is credible evidence it could threaten national security.

But the process rarely gets that far.

In his order Trump said there is "credible evidence" that leads him to believe that this acquisition might result in action that threatens to impair the national security of the US.



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