Why it makes sense for China to invest in OmniVision
Junko Yoshida, EETimes
9/4/2014 10:15 AM EDT
TAIPEI — Just before the Labor Day weekend, the investment community and Chinese media were abuzz with two hot news items: Intel, in hopes of bolstering its mobile business, is pursuing China’s Spreadtrum as an investment (according to a Chinese news site); and Intel should consider buying Taiwan’s MediaTek (urged by RBC Capital Markets analyst Doug Freedman).
Reached by EE Times on Tuesday, Sept. 2, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy was, of course, mum, other than noting: “We don’t comment on speculation nor do we speculate on what might have caused the speculation.”
This is a predictable no-comment. Both items might indeed be pure “speculation” worthy of no further interest.
However, it was only a few weeks ago when a group of Chinese investors -- including a state-owned firm -- offered a buyout proposal to US digital imaging chipmaker OmniVision. Putting together a string of recent events, we couldn’t help but wonder:
- Does selling Spreadtrum to Intel, or allowing the foreign chip giant to invest in the now state-owned company, make sense for China?
- What’s the real motivation behind China’s wanting to acquire OmniVision?
- Do any of these moves have anything to do with China’s recently unveiled “National Framework for Development of the Integrated Circuit Industry”? (After all, the Chinese government is setting up a huge annual investment fund to support the nation's semiconductor industry.)
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