Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn Bionic Exoskeleton designed by Ekso Bionics Credit: Ekso Bionics After a few tough years, a California-based company called Ekso Bionics signed a promising deal with two Chinese firms in early 2019. The company designs robotic mechanical suits called exoskeletons, and it agreed to form a joint venture that would shift some of its production to China and help sell its equipment in Asia. At the time, shares of the small, Nasdaq-listed company were depressed. And after years of working with the United States military, including participating in a failed project to build an “Iron Man” combat suit, the company was shifting its focus to produce outfits more suited to the medical market. China held out the promise of lots of new customers. But this month, the federal government told Ekso Bionics to call the deal off. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal inter-agency body that weighs whether business transactions are a threat to national security, blocked the joint venture after deciding that giving Chinese coSubscribe, register or login to read the rest. Registered users can access a limited amount of content for free.Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.