The Chinese city of Shenzhen offers free money for the chip industry • The Register

The Chinese city of Shenzhen has proposed a plan to attract semiconductor manufacturers and offer subsidies of 20 percent of a qualified applicant’s annual investment, up to a maximum of US$1.4 million per year.

Once the companies have arrived, the proposal calls for the Chinese city to help with things like raising finance and engaging government services and board members.

But the Chinese coastal metropolis, sandwiched between Hong Kong and the rest of the mainland, not only wants to bring home the manufacture of the product itself, but also to attract talent. $700,000 was promised to companies looking to recruit “suitable talent” among other measures to bring foreign know-how back to China.

The city has a long list of achievements it hopes to achieve through the program: 21 to be exact.

This list includes seeking breakthroughs in core products, improving manufacturing capabilities, catching up with high-end packaging and testing, accelerating compound semiconductor and electronic design automation technology, growing import and export trade, and more.

The Shenzhen City Development and Reform Commission’s proposal lays out another long list of which technologies qualify for the free cold cash:

The open-source RISC-V architecture has also been named as a core chip product that the commission would like to break through and is eligible for this 20 percent annual funding, or CNY 10 million (US$1.4 million).

Its inclusion provides a hint that China may see the immature technology as a way forward at a time of restrictive US sanctions.

Last week, the US Commerce Department added 31 Chinese firms to a list that effectively blocks them from importing American chips and manufacturing tools. The US Bureau of Industry also recently revised the rules for exporting semiconductor electronics design software and test equipment.

Last month, the US Department of Commerce passed a requirement for US companies that make chip devices to obtain explicit licensing before exporting to China.

The Shenzhen City Development and Reform Commission encourages “relevant entities and people from all walks of life” to provide feedback on the proposal by November 8, 2022. ® The Chinese city of Shenzhen offers free money for the chip industry • The Register

Rick Schindler

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