Chinese chip industry player DJEL raises $140m in fresh funding

Chinese chip industry player DJEL raises $140m in fresh funding

Photo by Brian Kostiuk on Unsplash.

China’s Dongfang Jingyuan Electron Limited (DJEL), which offers solutions to enable chip manufacturing, has secured nearly 1 billion yuan ($139.6 million) in equity financing as the firm leaves behind an IP dispute with Dutch lithography giant ASML just months earlier.

In a statement late Thursday, Beijing-headquartered DJEL said that it raised the investment from existing shareholders including XingCheng Capital, Nuo Capital, Yizhuang Venture Capital, Xin Ding Capital, and Green Pine Capital Partners.

A range of Chinese high-profile investment companies participated in the round, such as CGII Private Fund, China’s first geomatics fund that focuses on satellite navigation and remote sensing technologies, and An Xin Capital, a government-backed investment firm tasked with promoting China’s compound semiconductor development. CoStone Capital, an asset management firm that booked over 60 billion yuan ($8.4 billion) in total assets under management (AUM), also joined the round.

DJEL intends to use the net proceeds in new product R&D and the construction of manufacturing facilities to ensure product delivery.

The financing came less than 10 months after the eight-year-old DJEL was involved in an alleged intellectual property (IP) theft from ASML, the world’s largest supplier of lithography machines used in manufacturing chips.

ASML said in its annual report this February that a company associated with XTAL Inc, against which ASML had been awarded by a US court $845 million in damages in a trade secret theft lawsuit in 2019, “was actively marketing products in China that could potentially infringe on ASML’s IP rights.”

The Dutch giant said that it had requested certain customers not to aid the associated firm DJEL and had informed the Chinese authorities of its concerns. DJEL later denied reports about the alleged IP theft from ASML, calling them “false information.”

DJEL, in 2021, received Beijing’s stamp of approval under a programme known as “little giants,” which is designed for startups being selected by the government as bellwethers leading the country’s effort in fostering a domestic technology industry that can rival Silicon Valley. As a government endorsement, the “little giants” label is a signal for investors that the selected firms are insulated from regulatory punishment.

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