China’s bid to get its hands on the US’s largest pork producer comes at an awkward moment for Sino-American business relations. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with president Xi Jinping in California next week where he is reportedly preparing to address alleged hacking undertaken by the Chinese. The Obama administration has just been sued by a Chinese firm blocked from investing in the US.
The takeover of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui will be scrutinized by the committee on foreign investments in the United States (CFIUS) and would not be the first big China-US deal to run into trouble with the US authorities. Several other high-profile transactions have fallen foul of US concerns.