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China’s State Grid Unable to Buy Stake in 50Hertz, a German Electricity Network

According to an article The Epoch Times published on March 23, Belgium’s Elia System Operator issued an official announcement that it has decided to buy a 20 percent stake in 50Hertz, a German Electricity Network from IFM, an Australia investment group. Elia System Operator currently has 60 percent of the ownership and will thus end up owning 80 percent of the stock while IFM will keep the other 20 percent. The article stated that the decision has officially ended China’s bid to be a potential shareholder of 50Hertz, which is one of the four transmission system operators in Germany. It plays a key role in the renewable energy field. The article reported that China’s intent to buy a 20 percent stake in 50Hertz raised serious concerns among politicians in Germany as they feared that China would gain control of Germany’s sensitive infrastructure technology. An article that Radio France Internationale published quoted a source from the German Handelsblatt Newspaper that the German Ministry of Economics even approached Elia to buy a stake in 50Hertz. This is not the first time that China State Grid failed in a foreign investment. Two years ago, the Belgium intelligence agency blocked China State Grid when it intended to buy into another Belgium Energy company, Eandis. It cited China State Grid’s close ties with the Chinese government and the Communist Party as well as concerns over maintaining customer information confidentiality. Currently China State Grid has stock ownership in electric grid companies in Portugal, Italy, and Greece.

Source: The Epoch Times & Radio France Internationale, March 24, 2018