Tsinghua Unigroup is a Chinese semiconductor manufacturer that also supplies digital infrastructure and services to domestic and global markets. Based in Beijing, it is among the country’s largest technology conglomerates; subsidiaries include UNISOC, China’s largest mobile phone chip designer. Other core subsidies design and manufacture network equipment and server and storage products, and produce system integration, network security and software applications.
Tsinghua Unigroup has five main subsidiaries: Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC), New H3C Technologies, UNISOC Communications Co, Guoxin Micro, and UniCloud Technology Co. Other subsidiaries include Unisplendour Corp Ltd. and France-based Linxens, a design and manufacturing company of microconnectors for smart cards, RFID antennas and inlays. The company designs and manufactures 64-layer flash memory chips via its subsidiary YMTC.
U.S. technology company Intel owns a 20 percent stake in Tsinghua Unigroup’s UNISOC subsidiary—a consolidation of Tsinghua Unigroup acquisitions of Spreadtrum Communications, a fabless semiconductor company, and semiconductor components manufacturer RDA Microelectronics. Tsinghua Unigroup operates a joint venture with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), as H3C Technologies Co, created after Tsinghua Unigroup purchased a 51 percent stake.
Tsinghua Unigroup was founded in 1988 by Tsinghua Holdings, a wholly owned business unit of Tsinghua University, a major research university in Beijing. The company was founded as Tsinghua University Sci-Tech General Company, then renamed Tsinghua Unigroup in 1993. Tsinghua Unigroup is a fabless semiconductor company that is 51 percent owned by Tsinghua Holdings and 49 percent owned by Beijing Jiankun Investment Group; the latter is led by Tsinghua Unigroup chairman and CEO Zhao Weiguo. Zhao, a graduate of Tsinghua University, was also appointed CEO of Tsinghua Unigroup in 2009, then made board chairman in 2013. He chaired several of Tsinghua Unigroup’s subsidiaries, including Unisplendour and Unigroup Guoxin Micro, until 2018. Zhao remains CEO and chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup and Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC).
In 2013 and 2014, Tsinghua Unigroup acquired, first, Spreadtrum Communications, now Unisoc, a fabless semiconductor company that develops mobile chipset platforms, then RDA Microelectronics, a semiconductor component manufacturer. In 2014, Tsinghua Unigroup consolidated Spreadtrum and RDA to create UniSpreadtrum RDA, later Unisoc, in which Intel Corp. agreed to invest $1.5 billion for a 20 percent stake.
In May 2015, Tsinghua Unigroup acquired a 51 percent stake in Hewlett-Packard’s H3C Technologies, a China-based data-networking company, for approximately $2.3 billion. In September 2015, Western Digital announced that Unisplendour would make a US$3.775 billion equity investment to purchase its newly issued common stock, for about a 15 percent stake in the U.S. firm. Western Digital stated, in February 2016, that Unisplendour would not move forward with its offer following a decision by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to investigate the deal. In 2016, Tsinghua Unigroup partnered with Western Digital to establish a big data storage joint venture, Unis WDC Storage Co. in Nanjing
In 2016, Tsinghua Unigroup founded Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC), its IDM memory subsidiary. In 2017, Tsinghua Unigroup announced plans to build two new memory-chip factories, in Nanjing and Chengdu. Other investments include about a six percent stake in Portland, Oregon-based Lattice Semiconductor, acquired in 2017.
In June 2018, Tsinghua Unigroup acquired French smart chip components maker Linxens for a reported $2.6 billion.A restructuring proposal that would have Guoxin Micro acquire Unic Linxens (formerly Unigroup Liansheng) was rejected by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) in June 2020. In 2018, Tsinghua Unigroup also announced the construction of a $1.9 billion Linxens plant in the Tianjin Binhai Hi-Tech Industrial Development Area in Tianjin, China. The company broke ground in September 2019, and construction of a main factory building was completed in July 2020.
It emerged on July 11th 2021, that one of the creditors of Tsinghua Unigroup - Hong King-listed Huishang Bank - has requested that the company go into bankruptcy. Defaults at that time amounted to $3.6 billion for several onshore and offshore bonds. According to analysts, assets of barely $8 billion are surmounted by $30 billion in debt.
Guoxin Micro designs microelectronic products, including integrated circuits, smart card chips and memory chips. Founded in 2001, Unigroup Guoxin Micro was listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2005 (002049.SZ). In 2016, Tsinghua Unigroup became a controlling shareholder in Guoxin Micro.
UNISOC (Shanghai) Technologies Co. Ltd is a fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Shanghai. It produces mobile and other kinds of communication, computing, and control chips. In 2014, Tsinghua Unigroup consolidated Spreadtrum and RDA Microelectronics, creating Unisoc, in which Intel Corp. agreed to invest $1.5 billion for a 20 percent stake. Unisoc released 5G technology platform Makalu 1.0 and 5G baseband chip V510 in February 2019, then, a year later, launched T7520, a 5G SoC initiating the use of 6nm EUV advanced process technology.
Yangtze Memory Technologies Co (YMTC)Edit
YMTC is an IDM memory company that designs, produces, and sells 3D NAND flash memory. The company is headquartered in Wuhan and has 6,000 employees. Tsinghua Unigroup founded YMTC in July 2016, together with Hubei provincial government and the Chinese national "Big Fund" China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund with a total investment of $24 billion.
Linxens is a smart chips components maker specializing in security and identification, such as flexible connectors used in smart cards and RFID antennas and inlays. In 2018, Tsinghua Unigroup, through its subsidiary Unigroup Liansheng, acquired Linxens for about $2.6 billion. Founded in 1979, Linxens is headquartered in Levallois-Perret, France and, as of 2018, employs over 3,200 staff at nine production sites worldwide. It also has offices in China, Singapore and Thailand, and operates six R&D centers. In June 2019, Guoxin Micro announced a plan to acquire Unigroup Liansheng, including its main asset, Linxens; the deal was rejected by the Chinese securities regulator the following year.
Unisplendour Corporation Ltd. (UNIS) is a technology company that primarily provides information technology (IT) infrastructure product services. Founded in 1999 and listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (000938.SZ), UNIS is headquartered in Beijing, China. It operates as the holding company for H3C Technologies Co. In 2016, it also established a joint venture with Western Digital Corp to market and sell Western Digital’s current data storage systems in China.
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