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Treasury Dept. Approves Sale to Chinese Firm Despite Security Concerns

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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The U.S. government has approved the sale of U.S. taxpayer-backed A123 Systems to a Chinese company, despite security and economic concerns about sensitive technology changing hands. 
A representative with A123 Systems confirmed Tuesday to that Wanxiang America Corp. has gotten approval from a Treasury Department agency to take over “substantially all” of the non-government business assets of the lithium ion battery manufacturer. 
“We’re pleased the government has completed its review and provided us with the go-ahead to finalize this transaction,” Pin Ni, president of Wanxiang America, said in a written statement. 
A representative with the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which would have made the decision, declined to comment. 
The move comes despite concerns from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle about a Chinese firm taking over a company — and technology — that U.S. taxpayers helped fund through $249 million in grants. 
The move would essentially transfer sensitive battery technology with “key military applications,” according to one group that is opposing the sale. 

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