The German government has reportedly blocked the acquisition of key satellite provider IMST by a Chinese state-owned company China Aerospace and Industry Group (CASIC) citing national security concerns. According to reports, the German government in a closed-door meeting allowed the economy ministry to block the takeover of IMST by the Chinese company. However, the economy ministry has refused to comment on the development and reveal the name of the Chinese firm.
IMST is the primary satellite technology provider in Germany, which the government sees as a national security issue if it is sold to a non-European company. IMST is also the radar communications supplier to the German Armed Forces. Also, note that IMST is expected to play a vital role in the development of 5G and 6G technologies in Germany. Meanwhile, China has been dubbed as a threat when it comes to the 5G network development in Western countries, not just by the United States but also by its allies.
Relations between Germany and China have not been at their best at the moment with the two countries at loggerheads over a range of issues, including unfair trade practices, human rights violations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang. China is Germany’s largest trading partner since 2017 after it managed to surpass the United States. Germany is also China’s largest trading partner and technology exporter in Europe.
Earlier this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had called on Beijing to be fair when it comes to allowing European companies to invest in China. Merkel said that Beijing must engage in reciprocity, ensuring EU firms enjoy the same freedoms in China as Chinese companies do in Europe.
(Image Credit: AP)