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EU Commission orders Chinese security company to be searched

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EU Commission orders Chinese security company to be searched

Passengers walk next to the Nuctech security scanners in the Brussels Eurostar train terminal. picture alliance

On Tuesday, the European Commission carried out unannounced raids on branches in Poland and the Netherlands of the Chinese security supplier Nuctech.

There was suspicion of possible foreign subsidies that could distort the internal market.

The searches came amid growing tensions between China and the EU over unfair trade practices.

The European Commission has searched branches of security equipment manufacturer Nuctech in Poland and the Netherlands, according to the “Financial Times(FT) reports. The newspaper relies on three sources entrusted with the investigation.

The raids on the Chinese state-owned company took place last Tuesday. The Commission said the raids “followed indications that the inspected company may have received foreign subsidies that could distort the internal market,” the FT quoted the EU authority as saying.

Nuctech is a company run by the son of former Chinese President Hu Jintao and whose products have been banned by some Western countries on national security grounds.

Industrial overcapacity?

The EU is China’s second largest trading partner and one of its main sources of foreign investment. But tensions between Beijing and Brussels are increasing. Brussels has launched several anti-subsidy investigations in recent months. The accusation: China is fueling industrial overcapacity, especially in the e-car and renewable energy sectors, reports the “FT”.

Representatives of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, however, accused the EU of using the anti-subsidy investigations as a “weapon” to “suppress” Chinese companies.

The searches represent the first application of a new international approach: If the EU finds that European market participants are being disadvantaged in China, Chinese companies’ access to the EU market can be limited in return. “This is to ensure that European companies have the same access to the Chinese procurement market that Chinese companies have in Europe,” the “FT” quoted the EU Commission as saying.

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