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China injects US$2.25b into local chip firm

[BEIJING] China's state-backed funds pumped US$2.25 billion into a Semiconductor Manufacturing International wafer plant to support advanced-chip making as Washington tightens technology restrictions on the Asian nation.

The Semiconductor Manufacturing International plant's registered capital jumps from US$3.50 billion to US$6.50 billion after the investment, the company said in an announcement on Friday.

The chipmaker's stake in the Shanghai facility will drop from 50.1 per cent to 38.5 per cent, it said. The plant has capacity to produce 6,000 14-nanometre wafers a month and plans to boost that to 35,000.

The new investment came as Washington moved to prevent sales to Huawei Technologies by chipmakers using US technology. The Commerce Department on Friday said it would require licences before allowing US technology to be used by the Chinese company or its 114 subsidiaries, including its chip-design unit HiSilicon.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International is planning a Shanghai share sale that could raise more than US$3 billion, based on its closing value of more than US$13 billion on Friday. China is betting the local chipmaker can reduce the country's reliance on US technology.

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