UK blocks University of Manchester sensor deal with Chinese company – BBC

The UK government has prevented the University of Manchester licensing vision-sensing technology to a Chinese company, on national security grounds.
The licence agreement was blocked under the National Security and Investment Act, which came into force this year.
The Times reported the government thinks the technology could be used in military drones or missiles.
The university said: "We will, of course, abide by the decision that has been made."
It had "thorough internal processes in place to look at proposed international agreements", it said.
"These were followed in this case and, in line with the legislation, we voluntarily referred this agreement to the UK government," the university added.
The Chinese Embassy in London said it did "not comment on the specific commercial deal of market entities", but called for "transparency and impartiality", saying there should be no "discriminatory practice".
The blocked agreement – with "Beijing Infinite Vision Technology Company Ltd", reportedly a semiconductor company – was to develop, test and verify, manufacture, use and sell licensed products using "Scamp-5"and "Scamp-7" vision sensors.
These do not output raw images, the university's web page says, but perform their own computations, delivering "high-speed and low-power consumption" to enable "new embedded-vision applications in areas such as robotics, VR [virtual reality], automotive, toys [and] surveillance".
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said there was the "potential that the technology could be used to build defence or technological capabilities which may present national security risk to the United Kingdom".
Former Conservative Party leadership candidate Tom Tugendhat MP welcomed the intervention, on Twitter.
Good to see @KwasiKwarteng use the powers many of us have called for. We shouldn’t let Beijing buy up British innovation. https://t.co/c6Ep7hABOA
Earlier this year, Mr Kwarteng launched an assessment, on national security grounds, of the takeover of the UK's largest microchip plant, Newport Wafer Fab, by Chinese-owned company Nexperia.
The chips produced by the plant are not cutting-edge, experts suggest, but critics of the deal say the manufacturer is of strategic importance to the UK.
And this month, MI5 director general Ken McCallum and FBI director Chris Wray warned business and academic leaders that Beijing wanted their "world-leading expertise, technology, research and commercial advantage".
A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy said on Saturday: "It must be pointed out that every government needs to safeguard the national security of its country.
"The question, however, is that transparency and impartiality should be upheld, and there must not be any discriminatory practice. Every abuse of the national security review is damaging to the UK's investment environment and long-term interests."
Reaction among users of Chinese social network Weibo has been critical, BBC China analyst Kerry Allen reports, with some saying the UK must co-operate with Chinese companies to stay on track with the country's rapidly developing technology.
MI5 and FBI heads warn of ‘immense’ threat from China
MPs call for UK ban on two Chinese CCTV firms
Trump does not oppose bid to unseal search warrant
Crimea blasts significantly hit Russian fleet – UK
Ukraine nuclear workers: We're kept at gunpoint
The mystery deaths of two Saudi sisters in Sydney
'I'm a different person after having monkeypox'
The librarian who defied the Taliban
Fear in the only EU country where abortion is illegal
High and low-tech ways to tackle India's water crisis
Why Hong Kong is seeking solace in local pop
New Netflix dark comedy turns tables on wife beaters
Why Sir Ganga Ram's legacy lives on in India and Pakistan
The chef leading Italy's 'pasta revolution'
The best public pools around the world
Why open relationships are on the rise
The ejector seats that fire through the floor
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *