* Says awaiting approval for U.S. deal for 6 months
* Says had to resubmit related material after Trump assumed
* Says has been informed unlikely to win approval
(Adds quotes, details)
HONG KONG, April 21 (Reuters) - China's TCL Group on Friday
said U.S. protectionism is the biggest hurdle to Chinese firms
going global, and that the electronics maker had been told it
may not win approval in its bid to buy a U.S. technology firm.
"We have an acquisition deal in the U.S. It's been over half
a year. It is still not approved by the government," Chairman Li
Dongsheng said on the sidelines of an event in Hong Kong.
He did not elaborate on the deal beyond saying the target is
a high-tech company with product sales in the United States and
manufacturing in China.
"Protectionism is the biggest roadblock to Chinese
companies' internationalisation," said Li, who founded the group
that makes consumer electronics, display panels and home
TCL is the world's third-largest maker of television sets
after South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and
LG Electronics Inc, and is also China's
second-largest display maker.
It also ranks as the world's seventh-largest handset vendor,
known as the maker of phones for Alcatel SA and Blackberry Ltd
Li said the U.S. deal was "very close to approval" before
President Donald Trump assumed office, after which all
administrative reviews were frozen. TCL was then required to
resubmit all material related to the deal and was told it may
not be approved, Li said.
"(The target company) has nothing to do with military.
That's why I am unhappy they would not approve it," he said,
declining to elaborate.
He said the group is still working towards the deal and
"hoping for a miracle".
TCL was also seeking acquisitions in Israel and was looking
at over 10 potential targets, Li said.
He said the group is interested in technological companies
related to TCL's business, especially in smart manufacturing,
new materials, big data and internet applications.
TCL Corp, the group's main entity listed on the
Shenzhen stock exchange, in a statement late on Thursday said
trading in its shares would be halted from Thursday, pending an
announcement of a major plan. It did not elaborate.
(Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Writing by Anne Marie Roantree;
Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Christopher Cushing)