China financial hub Shanghai to back investment in specialised areas of domestic tech industry including semiconductor design and AI
China’s financial centre Shanghai is to back specialised technology investments into areas including semiconductor design, circuitry and artificial intelligence as part of the country’s push toward technological self-reliance.
The city said on Tuesday it would provide backing for qualified semiconductor projects with up to 100 million yuan (£14.47m, £11.6m) in support.
Shanghai’s government said it is aiming to boost investments, enhance industrial development and speed up the construction of modern industrial systems.
China has poured billions into its domestic chip industry, in particular, in recent years but has seen its efforts stymied by increasingly ambitious US efforts, including export controls on high-end chips and chipmaking equipment introduced last October.
Car chip investment
Earlier this month, ahead of the Shanghai Auto Show, Shanghai said it would encourage SAIC Motor and other car manufacturers to actively participate in automotive chip development as well as supporting the formation of expert groups and industry alliances.
SAIC Motor set up a 6 billion yuan chip industry ecology fund in mid-April timed with the announcement.
“We encourage financial firms, especially insurers, to develop products that specifically target the auto chip industry,” Tang Wenkan, deputy director of Shanghai’s economy and informatisation commission, told a forum at the time.
While the broader chip industry has moved into a glut amidst slower spending, the auto industry remains in the midst of a worldwide chip shortage.
In February Ford Motor blamed a 100,000 vehicle shortfall in its fourth-quarter volume mostly on the inability to obtain enough chips.
Auto Forecast Solutions predicted that by the end of this year nearly 18 million vehicles would have been removed from production plans since the two-year shortage began.