Newport Wafer Fab: Chip plant’s purchase by Chinese company reviewed

by Charles

The prime minister’s national security adviser is examining the purchase of the UK’s largest computer chip plant by a Chinese-backed company.

Boris Johnson said he had asked Sir Stephen Lovegrove to look at┬áNexperia’s takeover of Newport Wafer Fab.

The prime minister told MPs: “We are looking into it. I have asked the national security adviser to review.”

He said Welsh ministers had asked UK ministers to deal with the issue but the Welsh government has denied this.

The company, which makes wafers of semiconductors at its plant in Duffryn, Newport, employs 450 people and is the UK’s largest chip plant.

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Nexperia is a Chinese owned company with headquarters in the Netherlands, and already has a site in Manchester.

Mr Johnson told Westminster’s Liaison Committee on Wednesday: “We have to judge whether the stuff that they are making is of real intellectual property value and interest to China, whether there are real security implications.

“I have asked the national security adviser to look at it.”

A Welsh government spokesman said: “The Welsh government has not made a request to the UK government to review the takeover of Newport Wafer Fab.”

Dr Drew Nelson, Newport Wafer Fab’s outgoing chairman has said the deal for the Wafer Fab site helped secure its future, and semiconductor production in Wales.

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