Deal breaker? China nationalizes strategic tech with eye on US

By SHUNSUKE TABETA

BEIJING — China is taking throngs of high-tech companies under its wing to prepare for a protracted standoff with the U.S. despite calls from Washington to step back from the business sector.

The two countries signed a “phase one” trade deal Wednesday, but deferred thorny topics like intellectual property protections and Chinese state subsidies for a second round of negotiations expected to start soon. The nationalization of high-tech companies could become a potential roadblock in the so-called phase two talks.

A total of 165 listed Chinese companies changed ownership in 2019, roughly 60% more than the year before due to China’s economic slowdown, according to the China Securities Journal, a newspaper backed by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

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