The European Union’s industry commissioner wants the power to block China from buying up European tech companies.
Commissioner Antonio Tajani made the comments in an interview with German daily paper Handelsblatt. Europe should establish a new authority with powers to block foreign takeovers of strategic European businesses, he said. “Chinese companies have the means to buy more and more European enterprises with key technologies in important sectors,” said Tajani.
The commissioner envisions an authority along the same lines as the United States’ Committee on Foreign Investment. The proposed E.U. authority would determine “if the acquisition (of a company) with European know-how by a private or public foreign company represented a danger or not”.
The comments will likely strain even further the already tense China-E.U. trade relations. There are currently a number of Commission investigations of Chinese firms under way. E.U. companies also argue that China should also remove its restrictions on foreign investment to ensure a level playing field.