November 16, 2015 / 5:53 AM / 2 years ago

China's Tsinghua Unigroup to invest $47 bln to build chip empire

BEIJING/HONG KONG, Nov 16 (Reuters) - China's Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd plans to invest 300 billion yuan ($47 billion) over the next five years to build the world's third-biggest chipmaker, the chairman of the state-backed technology conglomerate said on Monday.

Chairman Zhao Weiguo also told Reuters in an interview that Tsinghua Unigroup, controlled by Beijing's elite Tsinghua University which counts President Xi Jinping among its alumni, was in talks with a U.S.-based company involved in the chip industry.

Zhao said a deal could be finalised as early as the end of this month. He declined to give more details but said buying a majority stake was unlikely as it was too "sensitive" for the U.S. government.

The Chinese 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.

Reporting by Yimou Lee and Paul Carsten; Editing by Stephen Coates

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