The German government is seeking to increase its powers to block takeovers of German companies by Chinese investors, amid mounting concerns that some of the country’s most prized technologies are ending up in Chinese hands. The move – received coolly by German business leaders – reflects a protectionist backlash in Berlin against a wave of Chinese dealmaking, which peaked this year with the Euro 4.5bn acquisition of robotmaker Kuka, one of Germany’s most innovative companies, by Chinese appliance maker Midea. In an interview with the Financial Times, deputy economics minister Matthias Machnig said the government welcomed foreign investments but was wary of deals that seemed to be state-directed or were only about gaining access to German technology rather than about “Germany as an investment destination.”
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