China Tsinghua Unigroup to invest 47 billion to build chip empire

first_imgChina’s Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd plans to invest 300 billion Yuan ($47 billion) over the next five years in a bid to become the world’s third-biggest chip maker, the chairman of the state-backed technology conglomerate said on Monday, 16 November.Furthermore, Chairman Zhao Weiguo said that the company controlled by Tsinghua University, which counts President Xi Jinping among its alumni, was in talks with an US-based company involved in the chip industry.A deal could be finalised as early as the end of this month, Zhao said. He declined to give more details, but said that buying a majority stake was unlikely as it was too “sensitive” for the US government.”If you can’t be the top-three giant, it will be very hard to develop your business in the chip industry,” Zhao said, citing reports that China imported more chips than crude oil every year.”The next five years is key… There is an enormous market out there,” he added.Currently, Qualcomm Inc holds the third position in the global chip rankings, behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and market leader Intel Corp, which has a market capitalisation of $151.5 billion.The sheer size of Tsinghua Unigroup’s planned investments is almost equal to Intel’s $50 billion chip revenue last year and could disrupt the NAND chip industry. The top five chip makers control more than 90% of the global NAND chip market after years of boom-and-bust squeezed out smaller players.Tsinghua Unigroup’s investment drive comes after a two-year deal-making campaign to bolster China’s fledgling chip industry, seen as a strategic priority for the Chinese government.Beijing is keen to end China’s reliance on foreign semiconductors as it seeks to build a modern, digitised armed forces capable of matching other advanced militaries.It has also attached strategic importance to the development of domestic semiconductor, server and networking equipment industries amid fears of foreign cyber spying.Tsinghua Unigroup has spent more than $9.4 billion making acquisitions and investments at home and abroad over the past two years, including the purchase of stakes in US data Storage Company Western Digital Corp and Taiwan’s Powertech Technology Inc.In August, it made an informal $23 billion takeover offer for US giant Micron Technology Inc that was rejected out-of-hand by the Idaho-based chip-maker amid concerns a deal might endanger national security.Tsinghua’s failed bid to buy Micron suggests it is serious about expanding in NAND chips, used for storing music, pictures and other data on mobile devices.The global chip market was worth $355 billion last year, according to research firm IHS Technology.NO PLANS FOR DRAMZhao said that Tsinghua Unigroup, which had a revenue of about 12.3 billion Yuan last year, was also in talks about cooperating with a “world-class memory chip giant” to build a new chip factory in China. This move could help his company acquire intellectual property needed to manufacture memory chips.The 90-billion-Yuan factory would help meet fast-growing demand of NAND memory chips.”We don’t have plans for DRAM at the moment,” Zhao said, referring to dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips that are used mostly in personal computers.”We need to take one step at a time,” he stressed.The company was also suspending plans to invest in Taiwanese tech firms due to regulatory hurdles, after agreeing to take a stake in Powertech Technology Inc and expressing interest in more cross-strait deals.Industry analysts had expected Tsinghua Unigroup to make further investment in Taiwan, sparking fears on the island that its chip sector may fall prey to China’s state-backed drive to become a world-class player.”The regulations do not allow it, so what’s the point of talking (to Taiwanese firms)?” Zhao said, adding that Tsinghua Unigroup was focused on investing in the United States.last_img read more

US Supreme Court backs Trump travel ban

first_imgDemonstrators chanting during a #NoMuslimBanEver rally and march “to protest discriminatory policies that unlawfully target and hurt American Muslim and immigrant communities across the country” in Washington, DC. AFP file photoThe US Supreme Court said Monday that the government could fully enforce a revised ban on travelers from six mainly Muslim countries pending appeal, backing President Donald Trump in the year-long battle over the controversial measure.The court stayed October rulings from two lower courts that had blocked implementation of the ban on visitors from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen while legal challenges to it continued.The third version of Trump’s travel ban, unveiled in September, drew immediate challenges in federal appeals courts in Richmond, Virginia and San Francisco, California.Plaintiffs argued that the measure targets Muslims in violation of the US Constitution and did not advance security goals as the government claimed.The challengers convinced the lower courts to put implementation on hold while they and government lawyers fight out the legality of the policy.But the Trump administration, which says the ban is crucial to protect US national security and deter terror attacks, secured strong support from the Supreme Court in a 7-2 vote to let the government move ahead while the appeals continue.“We are not surprised by today’s Supreme Court decision permitting immediate enforcement of the President’s proclamation limiting travel from countries presenting heightened risks of terrorism,” the White House said.“The proclamation is lawful and essential to protecting our homeland. We look forward to presenting a fuller defense of the proclamation as the pending cases work their way through the courts,” it added.The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, criticized the ruling.“This decision ignores the very real human consequences to American citizens and their families abroad imposed by President Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri.The Supreme Court justices said they expect the lower appeals courts to expedite their decisions, leaving open the possibility that the policy could return to the Supreme Court in yet another legal challenge to the White House.The San Francisco court will hear the case on Wednesday and the Richmond court on Friday.Open-ended banThe ban also covers people from North Korea and a selection of senior officials from Venezuela, but its main focus is travelers from the six mainly Muslim countries.Trump has battled to implement a travel ban since just after he became president on January 20, after having repeatedly promised during last year’s election campaign to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.Those promises have undermined the administration’s argument in a series of court challenges that its policy is not Muslim-focused but rather based on security needs.After Monday’s court ruling the Department of Homeland Security said: “the administration’s common sense travel restrictions on countries that do not meet basic security standards and do not share critical information with us about terrorists and criminals are designed to defend the homeland and keep Americans safe.”The initial ban was to be for 90 days, ostensibly to give the US and the targeted countries time to implement tougher and more thorough vetting procedures for visitors.After rolling court battles, the 90 day ban was finally allowed in June. Meanwhile, vetting for US-bound travelers from every country has intensified.But when the six-country ban expired in September, the administration sought to replace it with an open-ended ban, with Chad added to the list while Sudan was removed, and North Korea and Venezuela appended as well.Immigration and civil rights activists maintain it still essentially targets Muslims, which would violate the US Constitution’s guarantees of religious rights.When Trump last week retweeted three video clips from an extremist British group that vilified Muslims, his critics said it supported the idea that his immigration policies were anti-Muslim.“President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice is no secret-he has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.“It’s unfortunate that the full ban can move forward for now, but this order does not address the merits of our claims. We continue to stand for freedom, equality, and for those who are unfairly being separated from their loved ones.”last_img read more

What Apples New Lion Means for SmallBusiness Users

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Enroll Now for Free Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Steve Jobs this week gave small-business owners several reasons to consider either upgrading or converting to new Apple software.Apple is readying significant upgrades to its desktop Mac operating system and to the mobile software, known as iOS, that runs iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices.Many of the new features will be helpful to entrepreneurs trying to cut costs by having employees work remotely.The major product announcements made by Jobs and other Apple executives at the company’s annual developers conference in San Francisco were focused on software, rather than on the nifty new hardware devices unveiled at previous shows. June 7, 2011center_img The new version of Mac OS X, known as Lion, aims to remove the burden of saving, storing and retrieving all types of data – including text files, photographs, videos and presentations – from the shoulders of consumers by automating those functions into the software.Without having to worry about saving a file or closing an application, Mac users who have to temporarily leave their desk and shut down their computer can now resume working in whatever application they were last using, at the point they left off, simply by turning the computer back on.When combined with Apple’s new free service feature, called iCloud, those files automatically can be saved, stored and made available to all Apple devices linked on the same wireless network.The automated backup – among Lion’s 250 new features — will make it easier for remote workers using mobile devices to collaborate with co-workers back in the office. A related feature, called AirDrop, is a WiFi networking capability that will allow remote workers to set up wireless peer-to-peer networks and share documents in cafes, airports or wherever they’re working at the time.Those of you with long memories will recall that Apple’s previous attempt at a personalized content service, known as MobileMe, was not the company’s finest hour of user interface design.Jobs acknowledged as much during his keynote speech when he said he understood why some of the developers in the audience might ask, “Why should I believe them? They were the ones who brought us MobileMe.”But once the laughter died down, Jobs said the company had “thrown out” the existing versions of its calendar, email and contact/address applications and started over from scratch for the Lion OS X upgrade.The upgrade, which also includes a new “Mission Control” feature that makes it easier to manage multiple applications at once, will be available to existing Mac users for $29.99 beginning in July — but only through the company’s online Mac store, as Apple is phasing out using DVDs to distribute software. It will also come loaded on new Mac computer purchases beginning next month.Among the most useful features of the new mobile software, known as iOS 5 and due out in the fall, is improved camera software that makes it easier to alternate between taking pictures on an iPhone and using the device’s other applications. Notifications of incoming calls and messages are likewise less obtrusive to other apps.Jobs surprised everyone when he unveiled new mobile messaging software from Apple, at a time when most iPhone users have one from rivals such as Google or Research In Motion. And, in a swipe at Google’s Gmail service, Jobs noted that Apple’s email has “no ads.”But some of the biggest applause of the event came when Jobs explained that all Apple mobile devices and their content could now be updated and synced without the need of a desktop computer.They’re now “Mac- and PC-free,” Jobs proclaimed. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. min readlast_img read more