Germany denies Nexperia subsidies over Chinese ownership

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Nexperia has been excluded from the latest round of subsidies for the European semiconductor industry. The German Ministry of Economic Affairs removed the Chinese-owned chipmaker from a list of submitted project proposals, according to a report in Handelsblatt (link in German). A Nexperia spokesperson told the newspaper that it’s “disappointed” by the decision, having “fulfilled all conditions and successfully passed previous reviews.”

The European Commission last week approved 8.1 billion euros in public support for so-called Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEIs) in microelectronics and communication technologies. Out of 68 approved projects, 31 are German. Nexperia isn’t among them, despite having submitted a proposal, because top-level officials “considered it a mistake to support a company that would ultimately be backed by the Chinese,” Handelsblatt writes.

Credit: Nexperia

Nexperia’s Chinese ownership has been causing the Nijmegen-headquartered company headaches lately. The UK government retroactively blocked the takeover of a wafer fab in Wales, the Dutch government is taking another look at the acquisition of Delft-based startup Nowi and the renowned Dutch chip designer Bram Nauta refused to collaborate with the chipmaker.

Nexperia feels it’s being wronged. “There’s a lot of framing going on. Often crucial elements are left out in media reports because they don’t support the angle of highlighting tensions between the West and China,” Petra Beekmans-Van Zijll, Nexperia’s head of global communications, recently told Bits&Chips.

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy previously approved six proposals for the IPCEI Microelectronics 2 call, involving ASML, NXP, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Nearfield Instruments and Smart Photonics. It hasn’t yet been announced which ones will be awarded.