China probes head of state chip fund on serious law violation

China probes head of state chip fund on serious law violation
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(July 30): China launched an investigation into the head of a high-profile state-backed semiconductor fund, the latest in a series of probes targeting key figures responsible for shaping its chip policy and investment.

Ding Wenwu, the general manager of National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund Co Ltd, is suspected of “serious violation of discipline and law”, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said in a statement on Saturday (July 30), without elaborating. The CCDI is China’s top anti-graft watchdog.

Ding, 60, is currently undergoing a disciplinary review by an inspection team dispatched by the CCDI to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, according to the statement. 

Earlier this week, authorities said Industry and Information Technology Minister Xiao Yaqing is under investigation. While Beijing hasn’t linked the two cases nor specified allegations beyond legal and disciplinary violations, they come on the heels of several cases since late 2021 that have unnerved an industry accorded priority status by Chinese President Xi Jinping and long accustomed to government funding and support. 

Just days before Xiao’s probe was announced, Caixin reported that an investigation had also started against Zhao Weiguo, who had served as the chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup before the company — once regarded as one of China’s national champions in semiconductors — collapsed under a mountain of debt.