2016 The Year in Review

Chinese Money Hits German Paywall

Kuka
China sought new businesses abroad and German politicians flinched amid questions of security. Source: DPA
15/16

China’s M&A shopping tour in Germany climaxed this summer when Chinese appliances maker Midea bought Bavarian robotics maker Kuka for €4 billion. Vice-chancellor and economics minister Sigmar Gabriel wanted to keep Kuka in German or European hands, but couldn’t find a buyer. But the Kuka deal set off a discussion about Chinese purchases of German technology, and led to calls to strengthen E.U. laws to make such foreign purchases more difficult. Chinese investor interest in German lighting maker Osram cooled in the new political climate, and Germany blocked a Chinese purchase of chip equipment maker Aixtron, with help from the United States, which said the technology could end up making Chinese weaponry.

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