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New investment might see ZTE build CPUs

The National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Corporation will partially acquire ZTE Corporation’s ZTE Microelectronics Technology Company Ltd. The subsidiary has agreed to a proposed RMB 2.4 billion (£245m) investment, ZTE said in a press release.

Under the agreement, the National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund will acquire 24 per cent of the enlarged shareholding of ZTE Microelectronics.

According to the press release, the new investment will “enhance ZTE Microelectronics’ research and development capabilities, and strengthen its offerings in advanced semiconductor technologies, as well as broadening its marketing and distribution channels in China and international markets”.

ZTE Microelectronics focuses on the development of semiconductor technologies for applications including telecommunications, mobile devices, big data, cloud computing, internet of things and wearables.

With more than 2,000 research and development (R&D) employees in offices in China and the United States, ZTE Microelectronics is currently developing products with 28 nanometre technologies, and also possesses R&D capabilities for 16 nanometre and 14 nanometre technologies.

Chipsets developed by ZTE Microelectronics are currently deployed commercially in base stations to support multi-frequency band wireless access, as well as optical networking units (ONUs). In addition, ZTE Microelectronics also develops products used in smartphones and mobile devices shipped in markets including China, Brazil, Indonesia and Russia, supporting long term evolution (LTE) advanced standards and multimode operations.

In 2014, ZTE Microelectronics increased its net profit by 258 per cent.

The National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, with shareholders including China’s Ministry of Finance, China Development Bank and China Mobile Communications Corporation, has numerous investments in developers of semiconductor technologies, an area of national strategic interest to the Chinese government.