© alphaspirit Business | September 26, 2014

Intel invests USD 1.5bn in Chinese companies

Intel Corporation and Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. ("Tsinghua Unigroup"), an operating subsidiary of Tsinghua Holdings Co., Ltd. have signed a series of agreements.
Intel also has agreed to invest up to RMB 9 billion (about USD 1.5 billion) for a minority stake of approximately 20 percent of the holding company under Tsinghua Unigroup which will own Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Both Spreadtrum and RDA, controlled by Tsinghua Unigroup, develop mobile chipset platforms for smart phones, feature phones and other consumer electronics products, supporting 2G, 3G and 4G wireless communications standards.

"China is now the largest consumption market for smartphones and has the largest number of Internet users in the world," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. "These agreements with Tsinghua Unigroup underscore Intel's 29-year-long history of investing in and working in China. This partnership will also enhance our ability to support a wider range of mobile customers in China and the rest of the world by more quickly delivering a broader portfolio of Intel architecture and communications technology solutions."

Mr. Zhao Weiguo, Chairman and President of Tsinghua Unigroup, added, "It has become a national priority of China to grow its semiconductor industry. The strategic collaboration between Tsinghua Unigroup and Intel ranges from design and development to marketing and equity investments, which demonstrate Intel's confidence in the Chinese market and strong commitment to Chinese semiconductor industry, which will accelerate the technology development and further strengthen the competitiveness and market position of Chinese semiconductor companies."

Under the terms of the agreement, Spreadtrum Communications, Inc. will jointly create and sell a family of Intel Architecture-based system-on-chips (SoCs). Initial products will be available beginning in the second half of next year and will be Intel Architecture-based SoCs sold by both companies.

"The adoption of Intel's architecture technology will enable us to accelerate the development of mobile SoCs that expand the breadth of our portfolio, benefiting handset makers addressing both China and the global market," said Dr. Leo Li, Chairman and CEO of Spreadtrum. "We are pleased to embark on collaboration with Intel around these new product offerings."

The companies expect Intel's investment to close in early 2015.


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