Fears Of Chinese Takeover At Welsh Semiconductor Maker

Nexperia Has Installed Two Of Its Directors On The Board Of Newport Wafer Fab, Sparking Concerns Among Welsh Semiconductor Maker.

By Robert Scammell

Chinese Owned Semiconductor Company Nexperia Has Installed Two Of Its Directors On The Board Of Newport Wafer Fab, One Of Britain’s Largest Microchip Factories, Sparking Concerns That It Is A Precursor To A Stealth Takeover. Nexperia is headquartered in the Netherlands but is majority-owned by Chinese company Wingtech, which manufactures smartphone parts for Chinese companies such as Huawei and Xiaomi.

It placed two of its directors on Newport Wafer Fab’s (NWF) board following a “contract dispute”. Verdict has contacted NWF to ask the nature of this contract dispute but did not receive a reply at the time of publication. NWF has written to the UK’s business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng asking him to block the move but he has reportedly refused because the matter is not deemed to be of national security concern. The letter was first reported by The Times.

Nexperia Is A Major Shareholder In NWF, Which Has Capacity To Make 32,000 Compound Semiconductor Wafers Per Month At Its Factory In South Wales. A Nexperia spokesperson told Verdict: “Nexperia is the second-largest shareholder in Newport Wafer Fab since 2019 and has contractual rights to appoint [the majority of the] board members in defined circumstances.” The spokesperson added that Nexperia can’t comment on the “rumour” of NWF’s letter.

This news was originally published at Verdict.

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