Zhao Weiguo: Chinese language regulator accuses chip tycoon of corruption


China’s securities regulator mentioned it’s investigating the chairman of Semiconductor Manufacturing Worldwide Corp (SMIC) for corruption.

SMIC, China’s largest chip foundry, mentioned on Monday that it had acquired discover from the China Securities Regulatory Fee (CSRC) that Zhao Weiguo was suspected of violating securities legal guidelines and laws.

The corporate mentioned it might cooperate with the investigation and preserve traders knowledgeable.

The Shanghai-based agency additionally mentioned its board has appointed an unbiased authorized counsel to hold out an investigation into the allegations in opposition to Zhao.

The CSRC didn’t present any additional particulars about Zhao or what he’s suspected of doing improper.

Zhao Weiguo was appointed chairman of SMIC in March 2018 when the corporate went public on the Shanghai bourse by way of an preliminary public providing price $5 billion that raised funds for growth plans in Taiwan and Malaysia. He beforehand served as president of SMIC from 2014 to 2018, throughout which he oversaw a large growth drive by making acquisitions in Taiwan and Malaysia in addition to constructing vegetation in China’s Guangdong Province and Sichuan Province the place its headquarters are situated in Chengdu Metropolis.


China’s anti-fraud watchdog has accused chip tycoon Zhao Weiguo of corruption, within the newest signal of bother confronted by the nation’s semiconductor trade.

Mr Zhao is the previous chairman of pc chipmaker Tsinghua Unigroup.

Key gamers within the sector had been investigated for corruption final 12 months after the federal government poured billions of {dollars} into initiatives which stalled or failed.

Mr Zhao and Tsinghua Unigroup didn’t reply to BBC requests for remark.

In a press release, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection alleges that Mr Zhao “took the state-owned firm he managed as his non-public fiefdom.”

The regulator says he handed worthwhile companies to his family and mates, and bought items and companies from corporations managed by his associates at “costs considerably greater than the market”.

Mr Zhao’s case, it provides, has been handed to prosecutors who will file prices in opposition to him.

Tsinghua Unigroup was as soon as a department of the celebrated Tsinghua College, attended by President Xi Jinping.

Over the past decade, the state-backed firm made a collection of acquisitions and emerged as one in every of China’s main chipmakers.

Nonetheless, it racked up debt below Mr Zhao’s management and defaulted on a number of bond funds in 2020.

The corporate accomplished a 20-month restructuring final July. This positioned it below the management of a consortium led by two state-backed enterprise capital companies.

Round that point, Mr Zhao stepped down because the chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup. Chinese language media retailers reported that he had been taken from his residence by authorities for investigation.

A number of different main figures within the Chinese language semiconductor trade have additionally been positioned below investigation.

Semiconductors, which energy every part from cellphones to army {hardware}, are on the centre of a bitter dispute between the US and China.

In October, Washington introduced that it might require licences for corporations exporting chips to China utilizing US instruments or software program, irrespective of the place they had been made on this planet.

Earlier this month, the Netherlands mentioned it additionally deliberate to put restrictions on its “most advanced” microchip technology exports to guard nationwide safety.

China has invested billions of {dollars} lately to construct up its home chip-making capabilities.

In 2019, the nation arrange a brand new nationwide $29bn (£23.7bn) semiconductor fund to scale back its reliance on the West.

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