The UK government has banned the University of Manchester from passing on motion camera technology to a Chinese firm, citing national security concerns.
UK minister Kwasi Kwarteng, who oversees business, energy and industrial strategy, intervened to block the university from sharing the camera technology with Beijing Infinite Vision Technology, according to South China Morning Post.
"There is a potential that the technology could be used to build defence or technological capabilities, which may present national security risk to the United Kingdom ... Those risks would arise on the transfer of the intellectual property to the acquirer," the minister said, IANS news agency reported.
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The University of Manchester and the Acquirer have entered into a licence agreement that enables the Acquirer to use intellectual property relating to SCAMP-5 and SCAMP7 vision sensing technology to develop, test and verify, manufacture, use, and sell licenced products.
It was the first time the UK government used new powers to block a deal under the National Security and Investment Act 2021.
"The Secretary of State considers there is potential that the technology could be used to build defence or technological capabilities which may present national security risk to the UK and those risks would arise on the transfer of the intellectual property to the Acquirer," read the final order.
"The Secretary of State considers that the final order is necessary and proportionate to mitigate the risk to national security," it added.
Kwarteng is separately conducting a full national security assessment of the $75 million acquisition last year of the country's biggest semiconductor maker Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia, a Dutch subsidiary of China's Wingtech Technology, the report noted.