China Watchdog Says Is Probing the Head of Chip-Focused Big Fund

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s corruption watchdog mentioned it was investigating the head of the nation’s largest state-backed chip funding fund, simply over two weeks after it introduced the same probe right into a former govt linked to the fund.

Ding Wenwu, the head of China Built-in Circuit Trade Funding Fund, also referred to as the “Big Fund”, is “suspected of serious violations of the law” and is “currently undergoing disciplinary review, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on Saturday.

It did not disclose more details. Reuters was unable to reach Ding for comment. The Big Fund did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China launched the Big Fund in 2014 as a means to accelerate its semiconductor industry, which is considered to lag behind that of the United States, Taiwan and South Korea.

The organization raised 138.7 billion yuan ($20.54 billion) for its first fund, and 204 billion yuan for its second fund.

Over the years, the fund has provided financing to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, China’s leading chip fab, Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd (YMTC), a maker of flash memory, and a number of smaller companies and funds.

In July, the CCDI announced it had placed Lu Jun, former head of investment firm Sino IC Capital, which managed the Big Fund, under investigation, citing “severe violation of self-discipline and the regulation.”

($1 = 6.7526 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Kim Coghill)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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