People visit the stand of Chinese digital map provider Navinfo during an exhibition in Beijing, China. Photo: AFP

A Chinese group, which included tech giant Tencent, has been blocked from buying a 10% stake in European mapping company Here, Caixin reports.

The Committee on Foreign Investments in the US (CFIUS) had jurisdiction to review the takeover due to Here’s operations in Chicago.

The company is currently owned by carmakers BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen’s Audi unit, along with US chipmaker Intel. The deal had won antitrust clearance from Germany in January, and the Chinese group had been working with CFIUS for five months but still was not approved by the deadline.

Beijing-based digital mapping company NavInfo, one of the potential Chinese buyers, said the decision will not affect its existing cooperation with Here. The companies plan to form a 50-50 joint venture in China.

Chinese investments in the tech sector, suspected of being driven by Beijing’s strategic goals as opposed to the business interests of private companies, have been subjected to increased scrutiny in recent years. Earlier this month, President Trump blocked a China-backed investor from buying an American semiconductor-maker. In December of last year, President Obama blocked a Chinese firm from acquiring German semiconductor equipment supplier Aixtron.

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