Congress urged to bar U.S. buys by China state firms

Washington • Chinese investment in the United States keeps setting records, and now congressional advisers suggest barring Chinese state-owned companies from buying or gaining control of American businesses.

The concern is such enterprises could use technology, intelligence and market power “in the service of the Chinese state” — as those advisers put it. They note, for example, a growth in Chinese attempts to buy U.S. assets in the semi-conductor industry.

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission is out with its latest annual report. The key recommendation is for Congress to change U.S. law so Chinese state-owned enterprises can be prevented “from acquiring or otherwise gaining effective control of U.S. companies.”

Chinese investment in the U.S. could reach $30 billion in 2016. About one-quarter of that investment is from state-owned companies.

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