Corruption Probes Spread To Chipmaker Executives. Is This China's Retaliation Against The West?

  • Tudor Brown, the former president of Softbank Group Corp SFTBY Arm Ltd, has resigned from the board of Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) after nine years, Bloomberg reports.
  • The U.S. recently imposed sanctions on the leading Chinese chipmaker.
  • "Bittersweet day today. After 9 years, I resigned from SMIC board. The international divide has further widened," his LinkedIn profile read.
  • Also Read: China's Regulatory Crackdown On Its Tech Sector Takes New Twist
  • Brown, who's also a director at Lenovo Group Ltd LNVGY, was a key executive at Arm from 1990 till May 2012, before SoftBank scooped the British firm in 2016.
  • Meanwhile, China investigated three former executives connected to the National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, called the "Big Fund," which raised $51 billion in its last two funding rounds, Financial Times reports.
  • China probed Du Yang, former director at SINO IC Capital, which managed the Big Fund's assets, for "suspected serious violations of disciplines and laws." 
  • China also investigated two former investment managers at SINO IC Capital, Yang Zhengfan and Liu Yang. 
  • China put at least five chip fund executives under probe for fraud in the past two months. 
  • Beijing is under pressure to fast-track its semiconductor industry as growing U.S. restrictions threaten its chip supply chain.
  • The U.S. Commerce Department weighed banning exports of chipmaking tools to those Chinese factories manufacturing advanced semiconductors to impede China's growing dominance in state-of-the-art chips.
  • The U.S. added SMIC to a trade blacklist over alleged military ties in 2020.
  • Shares of Chinese chipmakers rallied amid brewing Sino-American tensions, expecting Beijing to step up support for domestic firms to bolster the critical technology.
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