Canada’s Globe and Mail is reporting a new ripple in the ongoing takeover of Vancouver-based Norsat International
, the Canadian high technology satellite communications company acquired in June 2017 by Chinese based Hytera Communications
As outlined in the July 21st, 2017 Globe and Mail post, “Chinese firm expelled from trade association days before takeover of Canadian high-tech company,” Hytera was expelled from a mobile-technology trade association run by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security for its involvement in the disputed bidding on a Chinese police contract, “just days before it closed a deal to buy Vancouver-based Norsat International.“
According to the article, “the expulsion is unrelated to the takeover of the Canadian satellite communications company, but critics say Hytera’s past connections to Chinese security authorities and its questionable business dealings should have raised red flags in Ottawa.”
As of publication, the details of Hytera’s expulsion from China’s Professional Digital Trunking (PDT) alliance remains shrouded in mystery. According to the Globe and Mail account, “it is unknown whether Mr. Chen, (Hytera chairman, and principal shareholder Chen Quinzhou) who has traveled on trade missions with the Chinese President, has run into trouble with the Communist Party, which has recently detained several billionaire businessmen and top party officials over alleged corruption and bribery.”
This blog will be updated as new information becomes available.
The Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Norsat sale to Hytera in June 2017 without conducting a full-scale national security review.
However, and as outlined in the July 6th, 2017 post, “Avoiding “Norsat Like Uncertainty” by Allowing the Chinese to More Easily Buy Advanced Canadian Companies,” the US government has announced a review of the purchase. The US military has contracts to buy satellite communications equipment from Norsat and that technology will now be transferred to China.
Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.