China's government reportedly plans to raise as much as 200 billion yuan ($31.5 billion) to invest in homegrown chip companies and eventually build a competitive semiconductor industry.
The state-backed China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co. is in talks with government agencies and corporations to raise at least 150 billion yuan for its second fund vehicle but is angling for up to 200 billion yuan, Bloomberg reports. It intends to begin deploying capital in the second half of the year.
The firm will invest in a wide range of sectors from processor design and manufacturing to chip testing and packaging, potentially benefiting industry leaders from telecoms gear makers Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. to major players such as the Tsinghua Group, the report says.
The first fund had gone toward more than 20 listed companies, including ZTE and contract chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., Bloomberg's sources added.
China's trying to reduce the annual semiconductor imports, which it fears undermines national security and hampers the development of a thriving technology sector. The country envisions spending about $150 billion over 10 years to achieve a leading position in design and manufacturing, an ambitious plan that U.S. executives and officials have warned could harm American interests
The Trump administration blocked a $1.3 billion deal for U.S. chipmaker Lattice Semiconductor Corp. from China-backed Canyon Bridge last year, citing security concerns.
The Tsinghua group, an affiliate of the prestigious Beijing university, also plays a crucial role. It groups under its umbrella the largest of the country's chip producers including Tsinghua Unigroup Co., which has outlined a $22 billion plan -- partly from the China IC Fund --- to pursue acquisitions and build capacity.