Chinese chipset maker NationalChip Science & Technology, which specializes in chips for TV equipment, has closed a Series C financing round, led by CITIC Securities Investment Limited with the participation of Gaorong Capital, Haier Capital, and Glory Ventures, raising hundreds of millions of yuan, the company announced on Monday.
Hangzhou-based NationalChip, founded in 2001, focuses on integrated circuit design and system development for digital TV products, and also manufactures AI chips for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The company says it shipped more than 30 million units last year and has collaborated with firms including Alibaba, JD.com, Baidu, 360, and iFlytek. In February 2019, it raised RMB 150 million (USD 22 million) from a Series B round, led by government-linked State Development and Investment Corp (SDIC) with the participation of Sinovation Ventures.
In 2016, NationalChip listed on the National Equities Exchange and Quotation (NEEQ), China’s over-the-counter (OTC) trading system nicknamed “The New Third Board,” but delisted two years later, and has reportedly been planning an initial public offering on Shanghai Stock Exchange’s tech-focused Star Market.
Amid trade and tech tension with the US, China has sped up efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in semiconductor manufacturing. The Chinese government wants its domestic semiconductor industry to cover 70% of its needs by 2025 from the current 16%. Per data from Yunxiu Capital, within the first seven months of 2020, the amount of investment in the semiconductor sector surpassed RMB 60 billion (USD 8.95 billion), or two times 2019’s annual total, and is estimated to reach RMB 100 billion.
“NationalChip has more than 20-year experience in the field of multimedia,” said Huang Zhijie, NationalChip’s CEO. “In the era of New Infrastructure [a concept emphasizes the need for high-tech infrastructure development], we will continue to cultivate chips of various sectors and contribute to the industry.”
“As a digital TV chipset pioneer, NationalChip has achieved good results in the set-top box market, while it’s exploring in the AI industry,” said Fang Hao, CITIC Securities Investment’s general manager. “Its core competitiveness is cost-effective chip solutions and all-in-one technical service support.”