Chinese AI chipmaker Enflame Technology closed a funding round, raising CNY2 billion ($274.4 million) from new and existing investors as the country pushes for self-sufficiency in semiconductors in the face of widening US sanctions, Yicai Global reported.
The round was led by state-run capital investor Shanghai International Group and included Tencent, one of the first investors in the Shanghai-headquartered developer of cloud-based chips when it was set up in 2018, and image editing software company Meitu, the news portal stated.
Earlier in the month, China’s government was reportedly preparing to launch a fund to boost its semiconductor industry, aiming to raise around CNY300 billion.
Tech giant Huawei’s latest Mate 60 Pro is thought by some to have 5G capabilities despite a US ban on the import of chipsets, indicating gains in advanced chip manufacturing in the country.
The company has highlighted moves to build up its in-house manufacturing capabilities.
Analyst company TechInsights claimed in early September it found evidence Huawei and domestic chipmaker SMIC used an advanced 7nm process to make chips for the Mate 60 Pro.
In late 2022, the US blocked Chinese companies from acquiring advanced semiconductors and chipmaking equipment, moves Japan and the Netherlands backed.
The restrictions prompted AI chipmaker Nvidia to re-configure its high-end offerings for China.