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America first irksome as deals torpedoed

China | Jan 12, 2018
Beijing sees protectionist sentiment in the United States rising, which led to renewed Chinese criticism of Washington yesterday in the wake of a takeover of a US financial firm by Ant Financial being rejected.

The Alibaba-owned Ant's planned US$1.2-billion (HK$9.33 billion) purchase of transfer firm MoneyGram International collapsed last week after a US government panel rejected the deal over national security concerns.

It was the most high-profile Chinese deal to be torpedoed since Donald Trump was elected US president a year ago on promises to put America first and protect American jobs.

"We've noticed recently that protectionist voices have been rising in the US," Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said in a briefing.

China is particularly worried about countries using national security concerns as a way to block foreign investment, he added.

In another blow to the ambitions of Chinese firms, a planned deal by Huawei Technologies with American carrier AT&T to sell its smartphones in the United States also fell apart because of security concerns.

The failed deals come as Washington considers imposing several new tariff moves in the coming weeks, including broad restrictions on steel and aluminum imports and punitive actions against China arising from an investigation into Beijing's alleged theft of intellectual property.

REUTERS



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