Bloomberg heard rumors that Intel is planning to invest in Chinese mobile chip vendors Spreadtrum Communications and RDA Microelectronics by purchasing a 9 billion yuan (about $1.5 billion) stake in Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd., the owner of these two Chinese chip designers. The goal of the investment would be to speed up Intel's access to world's biggest mobile market via a long-term strategic agreement.
Intel will take a maximum 20 percent in the owner of Spreadtrum Communications Inc. and RDA Microelectronics Inc., the Santa Clara, California-based company said in a statement. Spreadtrum will develop products jointly with Intel that will be marketed to its domestic phone-manufacturing customers from the second half of 2015. Tsinghua is a state-funded corporation.
The investment is the latest move by Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich to jump-start stalled attempts to get Intel chips into phones, a market dominated by rival Qualcomm Inc. The alliance is Intel’s second with a Chinese company aimed at spreading the use of Intel’s mobile processors in a country where one service provider alone, China Mobile Ltd., has more subscribers than the population of the U.S.