Geely Holding’s attempt to buy Ford Motor Co.’s Volvo car unit is in danger of stalling over disagreements about intellectual property rights.
Representatives from Ford and Geely have been discussing a sale, for around $2 billion, since early this year.
The latest talks, being held in London, are focused on the US car maker’s concerns about sharing its proprietary technology and plans for new products.
Buying Volvo would give Geely, China’s tenth-biggest auto manufacturer, access to the technology it needs to upgrade its cars. But for Ford, that could be a reason to hold back from a deal.
Last week, a former Ford engineer, Xiang Dong Yu, was arrested and charged in the United States with stealing trade secrets from Ford and using them to try to get work with Chinese auto makers.
Reuters reported that Boni Sa, analyst at CSM Worldwide, a global industry consultancy, said, "I’m not at all surprised that intellectual property rights would be a roadblock in the Volvo sale as IPR has always been an issue in China."