Chip board with the Chinese flag

China targets $40bn chip investment – reports

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China is planning on launching a new state-backed investment fund to raise $41bn (£32.7bn) for its semiconductor manufacturing sector, according to Reuters.

The China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund – also known as the Big Fund – is planning on launching its third and largest investment fund in the chip industry, targeting a 300bn yuan investment. 

The Chinese government will contribute 60bn yuan (£6.5bn). 

The investments are expected to support domestic chip manufacturing and research projects, with one of the main focuses being machinery for chip fabrication, Reuters reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The fund would follow those launched in 2014 and 2019, which raised 138.7bn yuan (£15bn) and 200bn yuan (£21.8bn) respectively, according to government sources. 

At the time, the backers for the funds were the Chinese finance ministry, as well as several state-owned entities such as China Development Bank Capital, China National Tobacco Corporation and China Telecom.

The investments made through the Big Fund have provided financing to China’s two biggest chip foundries, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation and Hua Hong Semiconductor, as well as to Yangtze Memory Technologies, and a number of smaller companies and funds.

The US has restricted China’s access to semiconductor technology since at least 2019 when the Trump administration banned Huawei from buying vital US technology. Last October, the Biden administration imposed sweeping export controls on American chipmaking tools to China.

Last year, China began a trade dispute at the World Trade Organization against the US’s chip export control measures, saying the curbs “threaten the stability of the global industrial supply chains”. 

In May, China made its first major move in the trade war with Washington, by telling its operators not to use Micron chips in certain infrastructure projects because of national security concerns.

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