China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba Group acquired chip maker Hangzhou C-SKY Microsystems to boost its cloud-based IoT business, as companies in the country look to secure self-sufficient supply chains.
“Alibaba aims to empower different industries through our cloud-based IoT solutions, in which chips play a significant role. The acquisition of Hangzhou C-SKY Microsystems, a leading Chinese supplier of embedded CPU [central processing unit] cores, underlines our commitment to driving the development of the chip industry,” a representative said in a statement.
The announcement comes not long after the US banned American companies from selling chips and other components to ZTE, which has companies in China discussing the need for self-sufficiency in terms of supply chains.
Founded in 2001, C-SKY Microsystems is an integrated circuit design house which develops embedded CPU and chip architecture.
Alibaba is an investor in five chip manufacturers, Xinhua News Agency reported, including Kneron and Barefoot Networks, although this is the first time it has acquired one.
The company is also working on its own neural network chip, the Ali-NPU, which will be used in artificial intelligence applications such as image video analysis and machine learning.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.