China’s government was tipped to be on the verge of launching a fund to boost its semiconductor industry, plotting to raise around CNY300 billion ($41 billion) as it continues to battle back against US sanctions.
Reuters reported China is ramping efforts to catch up to rivals globally, following major moves made in the US and Europe to attract investment and boost manufacturing in their own chip sectors.
The move appears to be the biggest of three initiatives launched by the China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, which raised CNY138.7 billion in 2014 and CNY200 billion in 2019.
China’s finance ministry has apparently committed to a CNY60 billion investment.
Backers of the previous funds included China Telecom, the China Development Bank Capital and the China National Tobacco Corporation.
A source told Reuters equipment for manufacturing will be a main area of investment, seemingly in response to widened US export controls in 2022 which limited Chinese companies’ ability to acquire advanced semiconductor and chip-making equipment.
US allies including Japan and the Netherlands have also made moves against China.
There is recent evidence of an apparent fightback against the curbs.
The US-based Semiconductor Industry Association recently claimed vendor Huawei had secretly built chip manufacturing capabilities, securing $30 billion in state-funding.
This week, analyst company TechInsights claimed it found evidence the vendor and SMIC had used an advanced 7nm process to power Huawei’s latest Mate 60 Pro, indicating the country was making headway in its attempts to build an advanced chip ecosystem.