Alibaba Sets Up Chipmaker
E-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has officially registered its first chip-making unit with 10 million yuan ($1.4 million) of capital in Shanghai.
The move, which was first announced in September, reflects a broader desire in China to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign technology, especially the semiconductors and memory chips that are used in gadgets such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and smart watches.
This dependence was brought into stark focus after the U.S. in April banned domestic companies from selling components to ZTE Corp., forcing the company to temporarily suspend operations. There are also fears that the recent arrest of a top executive from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. foreshadows a similar fate for ZTE’s bigger domestic rival.
Alibaba currently holds stakes in domestic chipmakers including Cambricon, Barefoot Networks and Kneron. It spent an undisclosed amount in April to acquire Hangzhou-based chipmaker C-Sky Microsystems Co. Ltd.
Alibaba said in September its new chip business will develop artificial intelligence chips for cloud computing and internet-connected devices. It said its advantages in algorithms and data put the company in “a unique position to lead real technology breakthroughs in disruptive areas, such as quantum and chip technology.”
According to the records of the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System, a government database for company registrations, Pingtouge Semiconductor Co. was registered on Nov. 7, and is owned by Alibaba affiliate Damo Academy.
The record said Pingtouge’s main business includes semiconductor research and development.
But an analyst said Chinese upstarts could face a long road ahead if they want to establish themselves in the chip sector, given the tens of millions of dollars of investment required and the low likelihood of return on investment for several years.
“Semiconductors and internet companies are different in nature,” Gu Wenjun, an analyst with Chinese industry tracker ICWise, told Caixin (link in Chinese) in September. “Online companies can gain quick success by innovating in their business models, but advanced technology is everything to a chipmaker.”
Gu said China’s chip sector may carve out its own niche if companies are committed to research and development for at least a decade.
Contact reporter Jason Tan (email@example.com)
Feb 18 17:00
Feb 18 16:06
Feb 18 13:37
Feb 18 05:43
Feb 18 05:18
Feb 18 05:04
Feb 17 17:15
Feb 17 14:38
Feb 17 13:20
Feb 17 12:20
Feb 15 11:02
Feb 14 18:07
Feb 14 13:36
Feb 14 10:42
- 1Coronavirus Latest (Feb. 1 - 15): Cases Surge Past 66,500 as France Reports First Death
- 2Four Deaths in One Family Show Danger of Wuhan’s Home Quarantine Policy
- 3Coronavirus Among Medics More Widespread Than Reported, Research Shows
- 4Even With Massive Funding, Coronavirus Vaccine Isn’t Coming Soon
- 5Coronavirus Sunday Update: Taiwan Reports First Death, Wuhan Virology Institute Denies Rumors
- 1Power To The People: Pintec Serves A Booming Consumer Class
- 2Largest hotel group in Europe accepts UnionPay
- 3UnionPay mobile QuickPass debuts in Hong Kong
- 4UnionPay International launches premium catering privilege U Dining Collection
- 5UnionPay International’s U Plan has covered over 1600 stores overseas