UK further investigates Chinese companies’ offer to buy British graphene

The British government has ordered further investigation into a proposal by a Chinese company to acquire a British graphene-based product maker over national security concerns.

Secretary of Commerce Kwasi Kwaten sent a letter to the Competitive Markets Authority (CMA) on Wednesday to conduct a detailed Phase 2 investigation of the Perpetuus Group’s takeover offer by Shanghai Kinton Technologies and others for national security reasons. I asked … “

After the Phase 1 investigation, the CMA said, “We do not expect this transaction to significantly reduce competition within one or more markets in the UK.”

UK law allows relevant ministers to intervene if there are concerns about a merger for public interest reasons.

Kwarteng asked CMA last September to consider a takeover offer for Perpetuus, which involves Chinese nanomaterial scientists with industry ties to Taurus International, a London-owned single-family home-registered company. Sometimes I intervened for the first time. In China already cooperating with Perpetuus.

The intervention was nominated by Dr. Zhongfu Zhou, a Chinese-born materials scientist who has worked in the UK for the past 15 years. He is listed as the only companion to Perpetuus. He has conducted research in the United Kingdom and has held various positions in the materials research industry in connection with cooperation with China.

The Epoch Times could not find any official information about Kinton Technologies, but according to Chinese Feature reportThe company was also founded by Zhou with the support of plans including the “Thousand Talents Program” and similar “3310 Plans” initiated by the Shanghai municipality.

The report also stated that the company was classified in the “A category” of the 3310 plan.This is an entrepreneur Awarded 1 million yuan startup fund (£ 121,000 or $ 149,000).

US officials have warned that the Chinese government will use recruitment programs such as the Thousand Talents Program to seduce foreign scholars to work in China. This is a process that facilitates the transfer of technology and know-how to China.

Graphene is a relatively new material that is 200 times stronger than steel, but is lightweight, has the potential for superconductivity, and can be used in layers as deep as one atom. Its applications are still being developed across sectors such as health, aerospace and electronics.

Perpetuus is a leader in adding graphene coatings to polymers using plasma.

According to a previous government statement, the intervention was “at least a quarter of all graphene plasma products and / or services supplied in the UK are supplied by the Perpetuus Group.”

Perpetuus Group and Dr. Zhongfu Zhou did not respond to the request for comment in the Epoch Times.

Simon Veasey and Hannah Ng contributed to this report.

Lily Chow


Lily Zhou is a freelance writer who mainly covers the British news of The Epoch Times.