Bund untersagt chinesische Übernahme von deutscher Satellitenfirma Kleo Connect

Start einer Rakete mit Satelliten Anfang September im Chinesischen Meer

Launching of a rocket with satellites in early September in the Chinese Sea.


The German government has prohibited the acquisition of the German satellite company Kleo Connect by its Chinese majority shareholder Shanghai Spacecom Satellite Technology (SSST). This information has been reported by the „Handelsblatt“ and several news agencies, citing government sources. According to them, the cabinet approved a decision by the Federal Ministry of Economics, which rejected the complete takeover after an investment review.

SSST currently holds approximately 53 percent of the company but wanted to acquire an additional 45 percent of Kleo Connect from the German company EightyLeo. Similar to Space X’s Starlink project, Kleo Connect aims to establish a global network of 300 satellites in orbit and provide global civilian satellite communication services through corresponding ground infrastructure. This is now considered a strategically important area, as evidenced by the debate surrounding the use of the Space X network in the war between Russia and Ukraine.

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Die Entscheidung passt zur Linie von Wirtschaftsminister Robert Habeck (Grüne), bei chinesischen Übernahmen genauer hinzuschauen. Reinhard Houben, wirtschaftspolitischer Sprecher der FDP-Bundestagsfraktion, sagte, der Beschluss der Bundesregierung sei angesichts der geopolitischen Rahmenbedingungen folgerichtig.

„I cannot reword“

In July, the German government presented its new China strategy. It states that direct investments by Chinese companies abroad provide access to markets and technologies. However, this should not pose a risk to German public order and security, such as the outflow of sensitive technologies.

Since the Russian attack on Ukraine, there has been a discussion about the excessive economic and technological dependence on countries like China, especially in critical infrastructure sectors. As a result, investment scrutiny rules have been tightened, particularly in critical infrastructure areas. Recently, there have been differing opinions within the coalition government regarding whether the Chinese state-owned shipping company, Cosco, should participate in a management company for a container terminal in the Port of Hamburg.

Habeck begrüßt Untersuchung von E-Auto-Subventionen

New tensions with China are also emerging in the field of electromobility. On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced an anti-dumping investigation into electric cars from China during a session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. She stated that the prices of these vehicles are artificially lowered through government subsidies. While Europe is open to competition, it is not willing to engage in an unfair race to the bottom, according to von der Leyen. She emphasized the need to defend against unfair practices.

Habeck welcomed the decision. It is about „unfair competition“ and not about keeping high-performance, affordable cars out of the European market, said the Green politician during a joint press conference with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire and Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP). The aim is to find out whether China is using „hidden, direct or indirect subsidies“. „What else should one do if there is suspicion of unfair competition?“