Tsinghua Unigroup is one of the tools being used by China to build up its position in the semiconductor industry by way of a series of mergers and acquisitions.
Zhao Weiguo, chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup, told Taiwan’s media on Nov. 1, that if Taiwan’s government lifts its ban on Chinese investment in the IC sector, then Tsinghua Unigroup would be willing to discuss a merger deal between Spreadtrum Communications, RDA Microelectronics and MediaTek.
Zhao is on a visit to Taiwan and reportedly said he had considered meeting with MediaTek chairman Ming-Kai Tsia but had not because as Taiwan law stands there is no scope for discussion.
MediaTek responded by way of a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange that reportedly states that MediaTek will adopt an open attitude and is willing to join hands with Chinese companies, as far as government policies allow.
Only days before it was announced that Tsinghua Unigroup would invest $600 million to buy a 25 percent stake in Taiwan-based Powertech Technology, a provider of test and packaging services to the IC industry, but not part of the protected IC design domain (see China to take 25% Stake in Taiwan’s Powertech).
Another major play was made by Tsinghua Unigroup in July when it floated the idea of a $23 billion bid for memory chip company Micron Technology Inc. Although the deal was thought unlikely at the time, partly because of US foreign investment concerns, the possibility of the deal lingers.
And in October Tsinghua Unigroup hired Charles Kau, previously head of Taiwan chipmaker Inotera Memories Inc., a joint veture between Micron and Taiwan’s Nanya Technology Corp.
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