Intel is spending $1.6 billion to upgrade its Chengdu factory with the latest chip-testing technology.

The chip giant will receive support from the local and regional governments for the construction of the facility in western China, Reuters said.

The announcement is the latest is a series of investments by the company to boost its position in China’s growing technology ecosystem.

Intel announced in September it was investing up to $1.5 billion for a 20 per cent stake in Tsinghua Unigroup, which controls Chinese mobile silicon players Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics. The fabless semiconductor companies develop mobile chipset platforms for smartphones, feature phones and other consumer electronics products.

In May Intel formed a strategic partnership with Rockchip, a fabless semiconductor company and a mobile-internet system-on-a-chip solution provider.

Earlier this year, it announced a $100 million investment fund and set up a ‘Smart Device Innovation Center’ in Shenzhen.

Chinese authorities, of course, have welcomed these moves since it means the country has a clearer path to becoming less dependent on imported chips. China is the largest maker of mobile phones in the world but sources the majority of the chips and processors from Qualcomm, Samsung and MediaTek.

Qualcomm, in contrast, has faced a difficult year in China as it faces an antitrust probe in China by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The NDRC said in February that Qualcomm was suspected of abusing its dominant position in the wireless chipset sector.

The US silicon giant has said it is cooperating with the NDRC and in August reportedly said it is willing to modify its pricing in China and put an end to the probe.

But the company’s CEO said last month he expects revenue over the next five years to slow as the mobile chipset vendor deals with a number of challenges.