The announcement that Aviation Industry Corporation of China is buying Northern Ireland based Thompson Aero Seating should not go without comment. 

Chinese buyers have been looking to buy industrial assets in Europe for some time, but often regulatory hurdles hold up processes particular to Chinese acquirers, allowing other buyers to take advantage and move in.

In this case, AVIC is buying into the aircraft supply sector and will no doubt have satisfied itself that the customers of Thompson were happy. 

Is this a softening in Europe to Chinese ownership, which compares starkly with rhetoric from the new US administration?