United States technology giant Microsoft Corp has been barred from buying a stake in television maker Sichuan Changhong Electric amid stiffer opposition from Beijing to foreigners buying mainland assets on the cheap. Changhong yesterday failed to secure approval from the securities regulator to issue 400 million shares to Microsoft and nine other institutional investors at a 27 per cent discount to the current market price. Concern that mainland companies are selling themselves to foreign firms at a price that does not reflect their true market value means Beijing officials are increasingly turning cold on such acquisitions. Earlier this year, Goldman Sachs was stopped from taking stakes in two Shanghai-listed companies at a price that was up to 73 per cent less than the market price. Changhong said the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission had not approved its proposal to issue new A shares to specific buyers. Changhong in April said it planned to issue up to 400 million shares at 6.27 yuan each to investors. Microsoft had agreed to buy 15 million shares for 94.05 million yuan. Changhong shares yesterday closed at 8.63 yuan. 'It should have been the pricing issue that led to the lapse of the deal,' China Everbright Securities analyst Wong Chi-man said. 'But the Changhong case was rare as it was banned on the CSRC level. Owing to the long progress to secure official approval, the market price has been rising since the deal was announced.' A Changhong spokesman declined to comment on the CSRC's decision and CSRC officials could not be reached for comment. Market watchers say the Goldman deals were also rejected because the issue prices were too low to reflect the market valuation of the companies. Goldman had proposed taking stakes in Midea Group and Fuyao Group. Goldman planned to buy 112 million Fuyao shares at eight yuan per share. However, Fuyao's share price had surged to 30 yuan last month when the deal was rejected by CSRC. The Midea deal was also rejected. Changhong and Microsoft initially reached an agreement in June to explore business opportunities in the digital home entertainment area. The first phase of investment included the production of television sets, computers and internet-based digital entertainment products.