The German government is trying to prevent Chinese company Midea from taking over German robot maker Kuka. Media reports say officials are encouraging European firms to offer a counterbid for Kuka.
The world's largest electric utility aims to acquire a stake in 50Hertz — a joint venture which owns a huge chunk of the German electricity grid. The plan is likely to stir controversy over China's influence.
In 2016, Chinese investors took over more companies in Europe than in the previous four years combined, most of them in Germany. The trend did not continue in 2017 but that was not due to any tightening of Chinese belts.
The EU is seeking a greater say in foreign takeovers of "critical" infrastructure and companies, with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker demanding a screening procedure of investments, notably from China.
Chinese appliance firm Midea has announced it has launched a cash offer for a stake of 30 percent in German industrial robotics supplier Kuka. The takeover bid has stoked controversy in Germany and Europe.
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