Huawei reportedly quietly amassed investments in semiconductor specialists to shore up its defences in the face of ongoing US restrictions.
Nikkei Asia found the investment arms of the embattled Chinese technology giant, including Hubble Technology Investment, took or raised stakes in more than 45 domestic technology companies in 2021, more than double the figure in 2020.
The news site reported about 70 per cent of the investments in 2021 were in semiconductor-related suppliers, including chip developers, design tools, production equipment and materials.
Huawei is apparently particularly keen to build up chip packaging capabilities, which refers to the final step in semiconductor manufacturing. Nikkei Asia noted US companies control less of the relevant technology in the field compared with the manufacturing process.
In one example, Huawei is said to have recently formed a collaboration with Quliang Electronics, a chip packaging and testing supplier based in Fujian Province.
Sources told Nikkei Asia Quliang Electronics is rapidly expanding its production capacity in Quanzhou to help Huawei put its chip assembly designs into production, and trial chip stacking and packaging technologies.
Nikkei Asia also pointed to the establishment of Huawei Precision Manufacturing in Shenzhen last month to tap electronics manufacturing.
Furthermore, Huawei is said to be busily hiring experts from suppliers including ASE Technology Holding of Taiwan, a chip packing and testing service provider; and forming partnerships with local players including a collaboration with BOE Technology Group to develop panel-level chip packaging technology.
Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping recently acknowledged 2022 will present its “fair share of challenges” and noted that “only through strategic investment can we grow stronger and build a future for ourselves”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back