US plans limits on Chinese investment in American technology firms

The United States plans to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 to impose the investment restrictions. (Reuters)
Updated 25 June 2018
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US plans limits on Chinese investment in American technology firms

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury Department is crafting rules that would block firms with at least 25 percent Chinese ownership from buying US companies in “industrially significant” technologies, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said the US National Security Council and Commerce Department were also devising plans for “enhanced” export controls to keep such technologies from being shipped to China.
The newspaper said the plans were expected to be announced by the end of the week but were not finalized and that industry would have a chance to comment before they went into effect.
The initiatives, the newspaper said, are designed to hamper plans that Beijing outlined under its “Made in China 2025” strategy to become a global leader in 10 key sectors that include robotics, aerospace and clean-energy cars.
Citing people familiar with the internal Trump administration debate, the newspaper said the United States plans to use the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 to impose the investment restrictions.
It said the administration would look only at new deals and would not try to unwind existing ones, adding that the planned investment bar would not distinguish between Chinese state-owned and private companies.
The White House on May 29 said the Trump administration would press ahead with restrictions on investment by Chinese companies in the United States as well as export controls for goods exported to China, with details to be announced by June 30. It also said it would unveil a revised list of Chinese goods for tariffs, which it did on June 15.
The White House, Treasury Department and Commerce Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Porsche first German carmaker to abandon diesel engines

Updated 23 September 2018
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Porsche first German carmaker to abandon diesel engines

  • The company would concentrate on its core strength, ‘powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles’
  • But Porsche promised it would keep servicing diesel models on the road now

BERLIN: Sports car maker Porsche said Sunday it would become the first German auto giant to abandon the diesel engine, reacting to parent company Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal and resulting urban driving bans.
“There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” CEO Oliver Blume told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag.
Instead, the company would concentrate on what he called its core strength, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles.”
The Porsche chief conceded the step was a result of the three-year-old “dieselgate” scandal at auto giant Volkswagen, the group to which the luxury sports car brand belongs.
VW in 2015 admitted to US regulators to having installed so-called “defeat devices” in 11 million cars worldwide to dupe emissions tests.
It has so far paid out more than €27 billion in fines, vehicle buybacks, recalls and legal costs and remains mired in legal woes at home and abroad.
Diesel car sales have dropped sharply as several German cities have banned them to bring down air pollution — a trend that Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to discuss with car company chiefs in Berlin later Sunday.
Stuttgart-based Porsche in February stopped taking orders for diesel models, which it had sold for nearly a decade.
Blume said Porsche had “never developed and produced diesel engines,” having used Audi motors, yet the image of the brand had suffered.
“The diesel crisis has caused us a lot of trouble,” he said, months after Germany’s Federal Transport Authority ordered the recall of nearly 60,000 Porsche SUVs in Europe.
Blume promised that the company would keep servicing diesel models on the road now.
According to the paper, Porsche also faces claims of having manipulated engines to produce a more powerful sound with a technique that was deactivated during testing.
Blume acknowledged that German regulators had found irregularities in the 8-cylinder Cayenne EU5, affecting some 13,500 units.
Merkel, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer and heads of German auto companies were due to meet in Berlin later Sunday to discuss steps to avoid more city driving bans.
The German government hopes to see one million fully electric and hybrid vehicles on the road by 2022, up from fewer than 100,000 at the start of this year.