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Rohrabacher warns of Chinese assault on U.S. semiconductor industry

Jun 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, Thursday warned of a Chinese power play with the potential of “gutting [America’s] domestic semiconductor capability.” The move, according to the congressman, involves a $100 billion Chinese program to invest in and acquire U.S.-based companies and technologies.

Recently Chinese acquirers executed merger agreements with three semiconductor companies: OmniVision, RF Power assets of NXP, and Integrated Silicon Solutions, Inc. The agreements are subject to review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), chaired by Secretary Lew.

“The underlying objective of these Chinese entities,” said Rohrabacher, “has been to acquire important technology developed by U.S. companies, transport intellectual property and capabilities to China, and then deploy these capabilities for primarily domestic use.”

CFIUS, according to the congressman, has “identified serious national security concerns regarding the divestiture of NXP assets to Jinguang Asset Management Co., a China state-owned entity. OmniVision and ISSI share a common purchaser, Hua Capital Management Co., a China-sponsored private investment firm.”

Rohrabacher also submitted the letter, during a hearing on Chinese threats to American academic freedom, to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Affairs, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations.

The letter continued: “This accelerating trend negatively impacts U.S. long-term competitiveness and security through gradually shifting development of core technologies outside the U.S., and in these cases to a global power with which the United States has sensitive economic and national security relations. … I believe that China is engaged in a sophisticated ‘roll up’ strategy in the hope that CFIUS will not focus on its piecemeal acquisitions of semiconductor capacity and technologies.”

The congressman has long voiced warnings about a non-democratic China’s expansion of economic and military power.