Big Fund


[News] Big Fund II Infuses HLMC with an Additional USD 1 Billion, Potentially Eyeing on More Advanced Processes

The investment momentum of China’s Big Fund Phase II shows no signs of slowing down, with its latest investment directed at Shanghai Huali Microelectronics Co., Ltd. (HLMC), a subsidiary of Huahong Group.

According to Sina Finance’s report, this substantial investment of up to USD 1 billion will support HLMC in continuous development of advanced process technologies and enhancing its manufacturing capabilities.

Given industry reports from as early as 2020 suggesting HLMC has progressed to the 14nm process, this investment from the Big Fund II signifies China’s commitment to even more advanced processes below 10nm in pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency.

Recently, Huahong Corporation announced that, to accelerate the research and development as well as mass production of the 40nm featured IC process on the 12-inch wafer production line in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, jointly established by its wholly-owned subsidiary Huahong Hongli and other joint venture partners, Huahong Hongli signed a “Technology Development Agreement” with HLMC on December 1, 2023.

The agreement stipulates that HLMC will provide Huahong Hongli with 40nm logic fundamentals and related process technology, along with corresponding technical services, consultation, and support.

In contrast to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC), historically positioned as China’s leading foundry to compete with TSMC, HLMC has maintained a more discreet profile.

Officially capable of manufacturing chips on 22nm- and 28nm-class fabrication technologies, rumors circulated in the market as early as 2020 that HLMC could produce chips on a 14nm FinFET process nodes using deep ultraviolet (DUV).

Moreover, leveraging DUV multi-patterning methods could potentially drive production for advanced processes below 10nm, contributing to China’s pursuit of semiconductor self-sufficiency.

HLMC increased its registered capital from approximately CNY 22 billion to around CNY 28.4 billion, with Big Fund Phase II holding a stake exceeding 10%. This data indicates Big Fund Phase II’s confidence in HLMC’s development, providing substantial financial support to bolster its progress in semiconductor processes.

The investment direction of Big Fund Phase II differs from that of Big Fund Phase I, which primarily focusing on key industries such as chip manufacturing. It is more diversified, spanning multiple areas, including wafer manufacturing, integrated circuit design tools, chip design, packaging testing, equipment, components, materials, and applications.

Please note that this article cites information from Sina Finance

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(Photo credit: Hua Hong Group)


[News] Big Fund II Targets Computing Power, Invests in Tsing Micro Technology

According to ChinaTimes’ report, Big Fund II is once again making strategic moves, this time targeting a stake in Tsing Micro Technology, a company specializing in reconfigurable computing chips.

Reconfigurable architecture chips possess extensive general computing capabilities, making them essential for addressing high computing power demands. Big Fund II’s investment is a proactive step to position itself in the upcoming computing power market, avoiding potential “bottleneck” crises.

Amidst the pressure of technology restrictions from the United States, Big Fund II, tasked with supporting the development of domestic semiconductor companies in China, has been active in recent investment initiatives.

At the end of October this year, Big Fund II invested CNY 14.5 billion, participating in the capital increase of the memory production project at ChangXin XinQiao.

ChinaFund News reports that Tsing Micro Technology’s main business focuses on innovative research and development, as well as industrial applications of reconfigurable computing chips.

Tsing Micro Technology recently underwent a business change, with the addition of ten institutional shareholders, including National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Phase II (Big Fund II), GigaDevice, CMB International, and Beijing Zhongguancun Science City Technology Growth Investment Partnership, among others. The registered capital of the company increased from approximately CNY 33.18 million to around CNY 38.9 million, with Big Fund II holding a 5.8824% stake.

The report highlights that Tsing Micro Technology’s technical team originates from the reconfigurable computing team at Beijing Tsinghua University’s Institute of Microelectronics. The team has been selected for three consecutive years (since 2021) in EETimes’s “Silicon 100: Startups Worth Watching” list.

Tsing Micro Technology’s Co-founder and CTO, Peng Ouyang, stated in November 2022 that faced with the explosive growth in the demand for computing power due to artificial intelligence, mainstream GPU chips require significant investment and cannot meet the “computing power black hole” brought about by the development of large models. He emphasized that reconfigurable computing chips are a solution to this challenge.

Since 2019, Tsing Micro Technology has undergone multiple rounds of financing. In January 2019, angel investors included Baidu and Focus Media. Subsequent Series A funding involved investments from SK Hynix in South Korea, Green Pine Capital Partners, and SenseTime, among others. Series B financing was led by CDB RW Funds, with participation from SenseTime and Legend Capital.

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(Photo credit: Tsing Micro Tech)


[News] With two October Investments, Big Fund Phase II Commits Nearly 19 Billion RMB

Since October, China’s National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Phase II (hereafter referred to as “Big Fund Phase II”) has made two significant investments.

First, it invested in JCET Group’s subsidiary, JCET Group Automotive Electronics (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (hereafter referred to as “JCET Automotive Electronics”). Later, it invested in ChangXin Xinqiao Storage Technology Co., Ltd. (hereafter referred to as “ChangXin Xinqiao”).

Data reveals that since its establishment, Big Fund II has invested in nearly 40 companies, with a total investment exceeding ¥55 billion. Despite the semiconductor industry’s low point this year, Big Fund Phase II has remained active, particularly emphasizing “strengthening the supply chain.” This includes increasing investments in critical areas like semiconductor equipment and materials.

  1. Investing in ChangXin Xinqiao, Enhancing Storage Manufacturing

On October 26th, Big Fund II invested ¥14.5 billion to acquire a 33.14% stake in ChangXin Xinqiao.

According to industry sources, Changxin Xinqiao is one of the projects developed as part of the ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT), a collaboration between Hefei Municipal Government, CXMT, Overseas Chinese Town Holdings Company, and NAURA Technology Group Co. in 2019.

As per previous public announcements, the total investment in the CXMT Semiconductor Manufacturing Base exceeds 220 billion yuan. The project is situated in the Hefei Airport Economic Demonstration Zone and primarily focuses on the Changxin Memory project, involving the development of the entire upstream and downstream industrial chain.

Among these initiatives, the Changxin 12-inch storage memory wafer manufacturing base stands out with a total investment of 150 billion yuan, making it the largest single industrial project investment in Anhui Province.

Additionally, according to information on Changxin Memory’s official website, their core product is DDR4 memory chips, which belong to the fourth generation of double data rate synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM).

2. Increasing Investment in JCET Group’s Subsidiary: Automotive Electronics Focus

On October 27th, JCET Group’s subsidiary, JCET Group Automotive Electronics, received a total capital injection of 4.4 billion yuan from a combination of new and existing shareholders, further emphasizing its commitment to the development of in-vehicle technology. This infusion of capital will accelerate the construction of its first-phase project for manufacturing and testing automotive chips.

After this capital injection, the subsidiary’s registered capital increased from ¥400 million to ¥4.8 billion, remaining a subsidiary of JCET Group. JCET Group Management’s ownership will be diluted to 55%, while Big Fund Phase II will hold an 18% stake.

JCET Group stated that this capital injection is primarily intended for the construction and operation of the target company, aligning with the company’s strategic plans and business development requirements.It aims to better serve the continuously growing market and customer demands, especially in strengthening the company’s automotive electronics business.

Currently, the company’s financial health is robust, and it believes that this capital infusion will not significantly impact its liquidity.

3. Big Fund Phase II Focuses on “Strengthening and Supplementing the Supply Chain” and Plays a Significant Role in the Down Cycle

The semiconductor industry has experienced significant performance fluctuations due to the ongoing semiconductor down cycle. In response to these challenges, Big Fund Phase II has become more active.

The fund has appeared on the shareholder lists of multiple semiconductor companies striving for initial public offerings (IPOs), including Hua Hong Semiconductor Limited, RYCHIP Semiconductor Inc., Guanggang Gases & Energy Company Limited, and Sinophorus Electronic Materials Co..

Notably, Big Fund Phase II has shown continued interest in Hua Hong Semiconductor Limited.

Hua Hong Semiconductor 

On June 28, Hong Kong-listed Hua Hong Semiconductor (now known as Hua Hong Corporation) disclosed that it had signed a subscription agreement with the National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Phase II . Big Fund Phase II would participate as a strategic investor in subscribing to the company’s shares for its Sci-Tech Innovation Board IPO. The total subscription amount would not exceed 30 billion yuan.

On January 18 of the same year, Hua Hong Semiconductor announced that the company, along with HHGrace, and Big Fund Phase II, had entered into a joint venture agreement. They planned to establish a joint venture company and invest a total of $4.02 billion in cash into the joint venture company, which would be engaged in the manufacturing and sale of 12-inch wafers. Big Fund Phase II’s investment amount in this venture was $1.166 billion.

Silan Microelectronics Co.

Silan Microelectronics Co. has also attracted significant attention from Big Fund Phase II. On August 28th, Silan Microelectronics announced its intention to jointly invest 1.2 billion RMB with affiliated company Big Fund Phase II and non-affiliated entity HaiChuang Development Fund to subscribe for newly increased registered capital of 1.19 billion RMB in the affiliated joint-stock company, Xiamen Silan Advanced Compound Semiconductor Co., Ltd.. Silan Microelectronics is set to acquire controlling interest in Xiamen Silan Advanced Compound Semiconductor, while Big Fund Phase II will hold a 14.11% stake.

Publicly available information indicates that Xiamen Silan Advanced Compound Semiconductor revolves around the manufacture of compound semiconductor chips. In July of the previous year, the company initiated the “SiC Power Device Production Line Construction Project.”

This project entails an investment plan of 1.5 billion RMB to construct a 6-inch SiC power device chip production line. Ultimately, it aims to achieve an annual production capacity of 144,000 pieces of 6-inch SiC power device chips, comprising 120,000 pieces/year of SiC-MOSFET chips and 24,000 pieces/year of SiC-SBD chips.

China Resources Microelectronics Limited

On August 15, it was announced that the company’s subsidiary, Runpeng Semiconductor, plans to increase capital and introduce external investors, including Big Fund Phase II. Following the completion of this transaction, Runpeng Semiconductor’s registered capital will increase from 2.4 billion RMB to 15 billion RMB.

The announcement indicates that the external investors that Runpeng Semiconductor intends to introduce include 12 institutions, including Big Fund Phase II. Big Fund Phase II is committed to subscribing to a registered capital of 3.75 billion RMB.

In addition, the upstream semiconductor materials sector has also attracted the attention of Big Fund Phase II. In late March of this year, Jingrui announced that its subsidiary, Hubei Jingrui, plans to introduce strategic investors through capital expansion. Big Fund Phase II, among others, is set to inject 160 million yuan in cash into Hubei Jingrui.


Overall, Big Fund Phase II’s investments span the entire integrated circuit industry chain. However, it’s worth noting that compared to Big Fund Phase I, Big Fund Phase II places more emphasis on strengthening and supplementing the supply chain.

It has increased investments in critical areas such as upstream semiconductor equipment, materials, and shows optimism towards emerging hot sectors like AI and automotive electronics.

(Photo credit: Pixabay)


[News] China’s Big Fund Faces Hurdles in Organizing Third Phase, Initial Funding Encounter Challenges

According to reports from the Hong Kong’s etnet, it was announced in early September that China’s National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund (known as the “Big Fund”) is planning to organize its third fund, with a scale reaching 300 billion yuan, aimed at supporting and revitalizing the semiconductor industry.

However, in response to the latest reports, the initial fundraising phase of the third Big Fund has encountered difficulties due to the challenging economic recovery environment in China. The China State Council Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Big Fund have not yet provided any official response to these reports.

The China National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund launched its first fund in 2014 and its second fund in 2019, raising approximately 138.7 billion yuan and 200 billion yuan, respectively. These funds were intended to bolster China’s semiconductor industry and compete more vigorously with the United States and other global rivals. Contributors to the Big Fund include the Ministry of Finance, China Development Bank Capital, China National Tobacco Corporation, and China Mobile, among others. The Big Fund has invested in various chip companies, including China’s leading semiconductor foundry, SMIC (Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation). Collectively, the first two Big Funds held approximately 9.4% of the company’s equity.

Despite being a key player in China’s semiconductor investment landscape, the Big Fund faced a scandal in mid-2022 involving allegations of illegal activities. Several officials, including Ding Wenwu, the former General Manager of the National Big Fund, and senior executives from SINO-IC Capital, the fund manager, were investigated by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. This incident raised concerns about its potential impact on the development of China’s semiconductor industry.

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