Alibaba acquires Chinese microchip maker C-SKY Microsystems

FILE PHOTO: A sign of Alibaba Group is seen during the fourth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, December 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

E-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has bought a Chinese microchip maker to further its cloud-based “internet of things” (IoT) business, underscoring its commitment to the chip industry, an Alibaba spokeswoman said on Friday.

The announcement comes days after the United States banned American firms from selling chips and other components to Chinese telecoms company ZTE Corp for seven years, a move that rekindled discussion in China about the need for self-sufficient tech supply chains.

Senior Chinese officials held meetings this week with industry bodies, regulators and the country’s powerful chip fund about speeding up already aggressive plans for the sector in the wake of the ZTE ban, two people with direct knowledge of the talks told Reuters.

“Alibaba aims to empower different industries through our cloud-based IoT solutions, in which chips play a significant role,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

“The acquisition of Hangzhou C-SKY Microsystems, a leading Chinese supplier of embedded CPU cores, underlines our commitment to driving the development of the chip industry,” she said, referring to central processing units.

Alibaba did not disclose the terms of the acquisition – the firm’s first involving a chipmaker.

The Chinese e-commerce giant had previously invested in Hangzhou C-SKY Microsystems and was now taking its stake to 100 percent, in line with an interest in the chip industry articulated late last year, said a person familiar with the matter who declined to be identified as the matter was private.

The person did not believe the acquisition was connected to current trade tensions between China and the United States involving tit-for-tat tariffs.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.