Intel has invested $1.5 billion in Tsinghua Unigroup, a state-owned holding company that operates two Chinese chip manufacturers, as part of a plan to accelerate the adoption of Intel’s own chips in the Chinese market. The world’s biggest chip maker said it would take a 20 percent stake of Tsinghua Unigroup, the owner of Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
Intel Corp is close to announcing an investment in Chinese-government affiliated mobile chipmakers Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics, its latest move to catch up in a smartphone chip industry led by Qualcomm Inc, according to two sources with knowledge of the plan. It was unclear how much Intel is paying or what portion of the companies the U.S. chipmaker is buying. The acquisition could be made through Tsinghua Unigroup, a government-affiliated private equity firm controlled by Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of the sources said. Tsinghua Unigroup owns Spreadtrum and RDA. Intel, which has struggled to gain traction in the smartphone and tablet market, recently has sought to partner with mobile chipmakers in the hope they can help it gain the market dominance it has enjoyed with personal computers.