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Government Businesses China Republicans The Almighty Buck Hardware Technology

Trump Blocks China-Backed Takeover of US Chip Maker 'Lattice Semi' (cnn.com) 151

MountainLogic shares a report from CNN: President Trump has stopped the takeover of an American chip maker by a private equity firm with ties to China. The deal, which would have seen China-backed Canyon Bridge Capital Partners acquire Lattice Semiconductors, was blocked over national security concerns. "Today, consistent with the administration's commitment to take all actions necessary to ensure the protection of U.S. national security, the president issued an order prohibiting the acquisition," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Wednesday. The national security risk included "the potential transfer of intellectual property" to the Chinese-backed company and the "Chinese government's role in supporting this transaction," according to Mnuchin's statement. Those are sensitive matters: the Trump administration launched an investigation last month into whether China is unfairly getting hold of American technology and intellectual property. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which reviews deals that could result in a foreign entity taking control of an American company, had previously recommended halting the deal. Lattice CEO Darin G. Billerbeck called the outcome "disappointing" and called the proposed acquisition "an excellent deal" for Lattice and for "expanding the opportunity to keep jobs in America." According to CNN, Lattice currently employs 300 people in Oregon -- and Canyon Bridge has committed to adding 350 more if the takeover deal went through.
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Trump Blocks China-Backed Takeover of US Chip Maker 'Lattice Semi'

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  • by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Friday September 15, 2017 @09:07AM (#55201993)

    There is a special government office dedicated to approving buyouts of US companies that have national security concerns. I don't remember if they fall under the DoD or some other agency but all they do is research potential implications and approve a merger outright or with conditions. Or recommend it not go through.

    I doubt the President actually has any say or cares about these things.

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      Might be he had to sign off on the ban.

    • He might have had to sign off on it, but if he did, it would be almost certainly one of dozens of things he signs every day. Honestly, I seem to recall, under the Obama administration and the Bush administration, when something like this happened, the President was 'credited' with it.

      • Not the same thing at all.

        Trump is protecting American strategic assets and making America great again by stopping them godless chinks stealing our ideas.

        If Obama did it he was interfering in private business which is communism, death panels and mandatory gay marriage for 6-year-olds.

    • Having been through one of these acquisitions (I work in the Semiconductor industry) the President had nothing to do with it. The FTC was involved and had to approve. Just more Trump bashing by CNN
      • And here I thought I read something about trump making a competent decision. I guess he didn't override on this one at least.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Having been through one of these acquisitions (I work in the Semiconductor industry) the President had nothing to do with it. The FTC was involved and had to approve. Just more Trump bashing by CNN

        Live by the sword, die by the sword.

        Trump is trying to put his name against every good thing that has happened since his presidency, granted, there haven't been many so he's been trying to put his name against every good sounding thing. This means he'll get lambasted for every bad thing as well. Of course Trump doesn't want this (no doubt he'll call it Fake News(TM)) but it'll happen.

        Besides this is better than the way Fox News carried on about Obama, they did far worse than this to him and Obama was

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Just more Trump bashing by CNN

        Which is so baffling because Trump never bashes anyone. It's not like he's been a total bullying asshole and a narcissistic paranoid crybaby or anything. What's wrong with the press these days anyway?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Having been through a CFIUS review, that resulted in a recommendation to reverse the transaction, the president is involved. CFIUS makes a recommendation to the president and the president can than choose to accept or reject the recommendation.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_on_Foreign_Investment_in_the_United_States

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by PoopJuggler ( 688445 )
        Good. Trump deserves to be bashed repeatedly. He is a horrible president thus far and an even worse human being. He represents every single thing that is wrong with this country.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@wo[ ]3.net ['rld' in gap]> on Friday September 15, 2017 @09:31AM (#55202123) Homepage Journal

      From TFA:

      ""Today, consistent with the administration's commitment to take all actions necessary to ensure the protection of U.S. national security, the president issued an order prohibiting the acquisition," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Wednesday."

      Maybe he was told to do it, but as a statement of fact he issued the order and had presumably could have declined to.

      • From TFA:

        ""Today, consistent with the administration's commitment to take all actions necessary to ensure the protection of U.S. national security, the president issued an order prohibiting the acquisition," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Wednesday."

        Maybe he was told to do it, but as a statement of fact he issued the order and had presumably could have declined to.

        I mean, the president can issue an order for the sun to immediately fuse all of its hydrogen into helium and become a Red Giant, but the laws of physics are not beholden to that order. What people are wanting to know is if this order has any teeth or if it's just willing the universe to bend to his will so he can in a few billion years claim credit for the Sun doing what it was always going to do anyway.

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          That's a bit silly. Naturally, he can't boss the laws of physics around, but he can certainly fire people at the FTC if they ignore his order and approve this deal.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Does Trump do everything?

      Yeah, I mean blaming a president for things he wasn't involved in is a totally new and disturbing trend started by this election.

      Thanks Obama.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      CNN is obsessed with Trump. Everything is about him.

      • by dwye ( 1127395 )

        CNN is obsessed with Trump. Everything is about him.

        Actually, their audience is so obsessed, and CNN just is following them. If the Left just "moved on" CNN would find something else to obsess over, like delivering real news as they once had, rather than trying to out-MSNBC MSNBC.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Now China can ignore Lattices patents /IP because that is the justification behind patents.
      Unless it was a secret patent that included backdoors with admin/admin coded.

      China did not need to purchase Lattice, and it would be a bad deal if US gov did a Leveno or Kaspersky post purchase. OK, now they willo have to produce something similar with a different part number. Big deal.

    • by Jfetjunky ( 4359471 ) on Friday September 15, 2017 @10:42AM (#55202537)
      These likely also have ITAR concerns as well. At the company I work for, we are not allowed to sell products with powerful FPGAs to many countries without an explicit export license, and lattice makes many FPGAs.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I think the concern is real. This is likely a real problem, and this move to block it is correct.

        I am not a Lattice employee, but work in the semiconductor industry. I was surprised to see this article on Lattice, since I did not know they had a buyout bid by a Chinese company. They most certainly do have export restricted IP (alot of companies like them do as you know). I am surprised this was being considered.

  • Foxconn (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by starblazer ( 49187 )
    Now, let's stop Foxconn and their blatant play at playing states for tax dollars and we'll talk.

    I really doubt he'll do anything because most of the states passing out the government tit are republican states.

    I mean, what's the difference.... a Chinese org buying an American company or a Taiwanese(Largest private Chinese employer) building chinese designed parts in America. Hmmmmmm? Oh wait, one requires Americans to build the spy parts... #MAGA!!11zomg

  • ...called his buddy, "Yeah, it's done. Go ahead and buy it for fifty cents on the dollar. Use the money you made by shorting Boeing."

    • ...called his buddy, "Yeah, it's done. Go ahead and buy it for fifty cents on the dollar. Use the money you made by shorting Boeing."

      Anybody who has shorted boeing in the last year has definitely not made money..

      • ...called his buddy, "Yeah, it's done. Go ahead and buy it for fifty cents on the dollar. Use the money you made by shorting Boeing."

        Anybody who has shorted boeing in the last year has definitely not made money..

        I believe the correct time to have shorted Boeing was right before the President said that he was going to cancel the order for Air Force One. Anyone who knew that he was going to announce that could have made money shorting Boeing. He did work out a new deal with AF1 that actually does make sense to the tax payers, but it did cause a dip in Boeing stock.

  • Too little too late? (Score:4, Informative)

    by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Friday September 15, 2017 @09:58AM (#55202263)

    I dunno what the government has to do with this particular deal, but if fears of intellectual property going to another country is the real reason here, isn't this a bit too little too late already?

    Not sure if people realize this, but chinese conglomerates have been buying american technology companies for quite a while now. Not only tech too... let's see if some people recognize some of the "american giants" that are now owned by chinese conglomerates:
    AMC movie theater chain, Smithfield Foods, Legendary Entertainment Group, Dick Clark Productions, General Electric, The Waldorf-Astoria, whole bunch of Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons Resort, Riot Games, Ingram Micro, International Data Group (IDG of Computerworld/Macworld fame), Motorola (bought by Google, re-sold to Lenovo), Terex Corp... heck, Chicago Stock Exchange might end up sold to a chinese conglomerate. Think about that.

    A whole ton of intellectual property already went out of the country. And sure, I'm not against countries trying to keep their intellectual property inside the country... in the past, the US is well known for doing similar business with BRICS countries, taking over a whole ton of businesses and research from those to get a hold of IPs. But it kinda sounds like there's more to that.

    • by chthon ( 580889 )
      I am reminded of playing Civilisation, the original one, where at a certain point you could start to win the game by buying opponent cities.
    • More trolls with their thumbs up their asses. You know the answer.
    • If I were to guess, this is the first major action after a significant policy change. I am going to assume that this will be the first block of many.

      As dubious as it is, I can also see how this is a perfectly reasonable action, as this is exactly what China has been doing for years. They overwhelmingly favour their local businesses and shit on foreign businesses. They consider it fair game to commit industrial espionage on foreign companies.

      I think the primary reason why no one has tried harder to put a

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      "General Electric", really? Since you got that wrong, we can ignore the rest of your stupid list as unsupported tat.

    • Property, you keep saying that word.

  • It used to be that the US would simply out-compete other countries when it came to investing in science and technology. Now there's a disconnect between the value the US government sees and the value US investors see.

    Why are these companies courting Chinese investors? Even with all the hand wringing over high valuations, US investors don't value (most) US tech companies as highly as investors outside the US. These Chinese investors were willing to pay $1.3 billion for a company US investors have valued at

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      No, there is a disconnect between Republican voters and the value of a college education. Admittedly, colleges educations have become overpriced. However, that is not why Republicans reject them. They reject them because they believe science is some sort of dodge and than leadership in science won't make the U.S. a more prosperous place.

  • It's a shame that newegg's sale to some Chinese douchebags wasn't blocked. That was an absolute disgrace and had US security concerns.
  • The Trump administration is trying to ratchet up economic pain on China to get them to help curb their client state, North Korea, and its nuclear ambitions. This may be part of that as well. Or maybe it's the entire reason, who knows?
  • California Mineral Pass is a huge mine that produces rare earth and thorium. Chinese company just put in to but it ( the main American company bid 20M, while the chinese backed bid 20.5M; were supposed to be .5M difference and was supposedly bid blind ). They have already indicated that they will shut it down even though it is the world's most economically feasible REE mine.

    Trump needs to block this and more importantly, get REE going in America again. This is easy to do with Tesla and their Model 3. Mo

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