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MAY-JUNE 2020        TAP TIMES          -8-


                   Silicon Valley (from 7)


        Tsinghua, was ready to offer $23 billion to
        buy the United States leading semiconduc-
        tor memory maker Micron Technology, in
        the far-off potato fields of Boise, Idaho.


        An elite academic institution
        Tsinghua U is one of China’s most elite
        academic institutions and has direct gov-
        ernment ties. China’s President for Life                This serene spot in Dongguin, China, is home to Huawei’s
        Xi Jinping is a Tsinghua graduate, as are               Xiliubeipo Village, a $1 billion investment that houses the
        many members of China’s elite.                          China smartphone leader’s R&D center plus some 30,000
                                                                workers.  The village is designed to evoke thoughts of Eu-
                                                                rope, a favorite Chinese destination. (Huawei)
        According to Digits, “In the past year
        (2015), Tsinghua Unigroup has kicked it                 invest up to $1.5 billion in Tsinghua Uni-
        into high gear as China’s top leaders seek              group The investment was made, Intel
        to build up the country’s chip sector.                  said, with a view to “expanding product
                                                                offerings and adoption for Intel-based mo-
        “The firm scooped up two Chinese chip de-               bile devices in China and worldwide.”
        sign fi rms in quick succession and merged
        them (the larger one being Spreadtrum,                  Joint development
        which makes the chips inside many a Chi-                Intel’s overriding interest was in the 5G
        nese smartphone and tablet).”                           platform.  Intel had planned to jointly de-
                                                                velop a 5G MODEM with Tsinghua’s Uni-
        This potential acqusition didn’t make it                group.
        past the early talking stage, according to
        several sources. At the time, Micron told               According to several industry sources,
        Reuters it believed the U.S. Justice De-                including Japan’s Nikkei Electronics, Intel’s
        partment would block the deal because of                5G modem plans have changed, and the
        security concerns.                                      U.S. CPU leader now plans to bypass its

                                                                first generation MODEM to produce a more
        Winds of change                                         power-efficient model.
        The winds of change are blowing in China,
        partly due to the devaluation of the na-                The deal is quashed
        tional currency several years ago, partly               In February 2019, Intel and Tsinghua end-
        due to actions by the government and                    ed this deal, likely due, in part, to trade
        partly because of the evolution of China                tensions with China and security concerns
        from an agrarian economy to an aspiring                 by the Trump administration. Intel has de-
        high-tech, Silicon Valley wannabee.                     nied the breakup was politically influenced.

        Just because Tsinghua can’t buy a semi-                 Trade booming
        conductor company in the U.S., several                  Trade from China and Southeast Asia to
        foreign companies believe the country is a              North America and Europe has boomed in
        good technology investment.                             the past five years, and seemed unstop-
                                                                pable before the appearance of the CO-
        In September 2014, Intel said it would                                                         next page
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