China’s “Big Fund” is rolling out its second phase of funding through a company called the National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Phase II Co., Ltd. (National Big Fund Phase II).
The country's second semiconductor-focused investment fund has raised RMB 204 billion (around $28.9 billion) from the finance ministry, state-owned firms, and local governments, the National Business Daily reported earlier this week.
The state capital-backed “Big Funds” aims at helping China toward its goal of building a world-class semiconductor industry amid urgent calls from Beijing to increase technological self-reliance.
Twenty-seven organizations participated in the second financing round of the China National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, with China’s Ministry of Finance the largest shareholder.
Other backers of the fund include China Development Bank Capital, state-owned firms such as China National Tobacco and the country’s three major telecom operators, local government-supported enterprises. The only privately owned investor was San’an Optoelectronics, a Shanghai-listed chipmaker headquartered in the eastern coastal city of Xiamen.
The fund is chaired by Ding Wenwu, who is also the chairman of Yangtze Memory, a state-backed chipmaker which was reported last month to have started volume production of the country’s first homegrown 64-layer 3D NAND flash chips.
The exact focus of the Phase II investment is not clear. At a September semiconductor industry summit, the Big Fund’s manager revealed that Phase II will focus on etching machines and film, test and cleaning equipment. The goal is to build an independent, self-sufficient and “controllable” industrial chain for the Chinese IC industry.
China’s State Council, the country’s cabinet, published the “National Integrated Circuit Industry Development Guidelines” in June 2014, which initially proposed setting up a special national industry investment fund to boost the semiconductor industry.
The first Big Fund, which raised RMB 138.7 billion, was set up to invest in chip manufacturing and designing, and promote mergers and acquisitions, according to the website for China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which supervises the fund.