Intel chips in with Chinese investment

Updated: 2011-08-04 08:24

By Tuo Yannan (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Intel Capital, the global investment arm of the chipmaker Intel Corp, announced on Wednesday that it has invested $22 million in three Chinese technology companies this year. It will also invest in least six more in the coming five months.

The three companies are the Shanghai-based online e-commerce outfit, 6DX Change Inc, which operates the online fashion and lifestyle e-retailer website; high-definition smart TV and cable smart set top box provider Beijing JoySee Technology Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the US-listed China Digital TV holding Co Ltd; and a second Shanghai-based outfit, BOCOM Intelligent Network Technologies Co Ltd, a provider of intelligent sensing and networking technologies for digital security and surveillance

The chipmaker is seeking to penetrate the lucrative mobile market, as a means of diversifying its income source. All three Chinese companies in which it has invested are in the mobile Internet industry, as the company is hoping to be not only a hardware maker but also a solutions provider.

"Intel is making the transformation to provide compute solutions and China is a key market in this strategic direction," said Ian Yang, president of Intel China. Intel isn't doing very well in the mobile-devices market compared with its peers, such as the US-based Qualcomm Inc, Apple Inc and Britain's ARM Holdings Ltd, so it has to seek more opportunities in the mobile market, said Hover Xiao, an analyst from US-based research company IDC Asia-Pacific.

Intel Capital is relying on the Chinese market to be a turning point as it strives to save its business in the mobile Internet market. Its Chinese office has the largest investment team outside the United States in terms of head count, and the company has already invested more than $500 million in more than 100 Chinese companies, said Arvind Sodhani, executive vice-president of Intel and president of Intel Capital, who described himself as "strong believer in China".

"Online shopping is a hot topic while smart TV will help Intel to control the TV screen -the cell phone screen and PC screen are dominated by other players," said Xiao from IDC.

The investment will be used for research and development and marketing. "China is a critical piece of Intel Capital's investment philosophy and those three companies are examples of our strategic initiatives to develop the compute continuum and the digital society," said Sodhani. China's mobile Internet market received $207 million in investment in 2010, according to the data from the domestic research company Analysys International.

Intel will be searching for more Chinese technology companies to invest in during the second half of this year and will consider those that "not only focus on today's technology, but also that of the future," said Intel's Yang.

China Daily

(China Daily 08/04/2011 page15)