The UK government has decided to delay its decision on whether China can take over the UK’s largest semiconductor company. In May, an inquiry into the state of UK chips was announced.
The Consumer Choice Center, a global consumer advocacy group, welcomed the decision, arguing that at a time of great geopolitical turbulence and global chip shortages, the UK should indeed be extremely cautious about any dealings with China.
“China is well-known for building back-doors into its technologies, spying, and breaching users’ privacy. For that reason, the fact that China owns major chip firms in the UK and aspires to expand is concerning. To compensate for the once lenient approach towards Chinese expansion into the UK semiconductor sector, the government should now focus on enhancing domestic semiconductor production,” said Maria Chaplia, Research Manager at the Consumer Choice Center.
“Regaining a competitive edge in the semiconductor industry is vital, but it is impossible without taking an evidence-based approach to PFAS, a grouping of 4000+ man-made chemicals, which are vital for the production of semiconductors. If the UK is serious about increasing domestic chip production, they have to also work to secure the key inputs involved in the production process, and PFAS are one of those key inputs.” said David Clement, North American Affairs Manager at the Consumer Choice Center.
“British green groups have been fear mongering around PFAS, but the UK government should prioritise long-term national security and consumer welfare over populist claims,” added Chaplia.
“With the global chip shortage, the UK has a unique chance to become a semiconductor powerhouse if it doesn’t ban PFAS. Among other things, this will ensure the UK can effectively counter China’s increased chip manufacturing. The UK government shouldn’t succumb to Chinese influence and calls to ban all PFAS,” concluded Chaplia.