Intel Corp has announced a US$200 million venture capital fund to invest in Chinese companies that develop new hardware, software and services in a move to spur the high-tech industry in the world's largest emerging market.
Intel Capital, the investment arm of the world's largest chipmaker, announced the fund ahead of a conference this week in Beijing, running from yesterday through tomorrow, that brings together executives of its portfolio companies with corporate and government decision-makers.
The Intel Capital CEO Summit is being held outside the US for the first time. That it is being held in China is a sign of the country's emerging importance in the technology industry.
Initially, the fund will be used to invest in firms developing new hardware, software and services related to cellular communications, broadband applications for consumers.
"Companies around the world should look beyond China's purchasing power and view the country's innovators as potential suppliers," said Intel Capital president Arvind Sodhani. "We look forward to working together with the country's leading technology companies to grow China's IT industry together."
Intel has had a presence in China for 20 years, and Intel Capital first invested there in 1998. Since then, it has invested in nearly 50 Chinese companies in China and Hong Kong.
Separately, Intel will likely invest US$400 million to build a chip-making plant in India, a government minister said yesterday in New Delhi.
"I was successful in convincing Intel to come to India and they have agreed," India's Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran told reporters on his return from a tour of the US.
Maran said Intel's decision was conveyed to him by the company's chairman Craig Barrett.
The company has shortlisted the southern Indian cities of Madras and Bangalore and Noida, a satellite town adjoining the Indian capital, to locate the proposed plant, he said.
"They [Intel] will make a final announcement in a month's time," Maran said.