Pirelli: Italy ties China’s hands over fear of chip technology

Zak Mauger/Formula 1/Getty Images


Italy has imposed a number of sanctions on Sinochem, Pirelli’s largest shareholder, in a move aimed at blocking Chinese government access. Sensing chip technology.

The Italian government decided last week to use its “golden power” regulations designed to protect assets of strategic importance to the country, Pirelli said in a statement on Sunday.

Government order risk Annoying tensions Between Europe and Beijing, a similar intervention follows Germany And this United Kingdom Protect theirs Semiconductor technology.

Earlier this year, Europe joined a US-led effort to limit access to China’s cutting-edge chipmaking technology by the Netherlands – home of ASML Holding, a key supplier to the global semiconductor industry. Introduce export controls.

Italy’s move comes as US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken ends A high quality visit to China with a view to repair Tight ties between the world’s two largest economies.

Chinese state-owned Sinochem is Pirelli’s largest single shareholder with a 37% stake and 60% of the Italian tire maker’s board. CNN has contacted Sinochem for comment.

In a statement On Friday, the Italian government said Pirelli’s CyberTire, which uses chip technology to collect vehicle data, is “constructed as an important technology of national strategic importance”.

“Improper use of this technology poses significant risks not only to the confidentiality of user data, but also to the potential transmission of security-related information,” the statement added.

The directive also sets limits on Sinochem’s involvement in Pirelli, including formulating the company’s strategy and financial plans or appointing a CEO.

The government said the bans would protect the “autonomy” and “information of strategic importance” of Pirelli and its management.

Europe relies heavily on China for trade and investment, but relations have been strained by ideological differences, including Russia’s war in Ukraine and recent moves by the European Union. Regulators and governments should limit China’s access to sensitive technology.

Order takes a page from this playbook. Pirelli must refuse any requests from Sinochem’s owner – China’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council – for information sharing, including information related to “know-how” of proprietary technologies.

The government said “certain” strategic decisions would require the approval of at least 80% of board directors, further limiting Sinochem’s influence.

Separately, Rome is evaluating whether to renew its partnership with Beijing on the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s global infrastructure and investment mega-project. Italy is the only group of seven countries to join the initiative.

In a further sign of steps multinationals are beginning to consider to protect their operations from growing geopolitical friction, drugmaker AstraZeneca

It plans to spin off its China business and list separately in Hong Kong, according to the Financial Times. AstraZeneca

He declined to comment.

Earlier this month, Silicon Valley venture capital group Sequoia Capital said It will separate its Chinese investments into an independent unit.

On Tuesday, the European Commission will unveil measures – including restrictions on outbound investments and exports – to keep valuable EU technology from countries such as China, Reuters reported.

— Laura He in Hong Kong contributed to this article.

Leave a Reply

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