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The United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has suggested that the UK is likely to follow America’s lead in imposing restrictions on Chinese investments into their respective countries. This follows the US president’s announcement in July, which declares a drastic tightening of rules on company investments to limit Chinese businesses’ access to sensitive US technologies.
The potential changes to the UK’s stance on Chinese investments have caused some to express concerns over possible negative impacts on Chinese investment into the UK. However, in an interview with Reuters, Sunak reaffirmed the UK government’s commitment to ensuring that their operations reflect the needs and interests of the nation. He expressed that the UK remains open to following the US’s lead in strengthening certain restrictions on Chinese investments.
This follows a string of controversies surrounding Chinese firms in the UK. Among them is Chinese internet giant Tencent’s recent £235 million investment into Frontier Developments, a British firm specialising in video games.
The move has caused notable observers to suggest that now might not be the best time for Chinese investments in the UK. Additionally, the proposed changes could lead to new limitations for Chinese firms looking to invest or have operations in the country.
Sunak’s comments are seen as power indication of the government potentially taking further action on Chinese investments. This could include putting new rules in place like the ones imposed by the US. This would severely restrict the access and control of UK assets by foreign companies, including those of Chinese origin.
The concerns of the UK government going forward suggest that further restrictions might become part of the UK-Chinese investment landscape. As Sunak and the UK government remain open to the suggestion of following the US’s lead on Chinese investments, further updates will become available over the coming months.