The auction of battery-maker A123 Systems Inc.

, scheduled for Thursday, is expected to draw both U.S. and foreign bidders against the backdrop of growing pressure from military leaders and politicians to block U.S.-funded technology from being transferred outside the country — especially to a Chinese-affiliated company.

Two of the major players keen on acquiring A123's assets are Johnson Controls Inc. of Milwaukee, and Wanxiang Group Corp., a Chinese auto parts maker whose North American headquarters is in Elgin, Ill.

Johnson Controls, which was awarded $299 million in federal grants, has said A123's technology is in its early stages and will require further funding but that the company is committed to adding jobs in the U.S. It describes itself as "one of the last standing American companies competing in and building this U.S. advanced battery industry."


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Federally Funded Battery Maker On The Auction Block - Should  The Chinese Be Allowed To Bid?

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