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Xi picks Vice Premier Liu He to oversee China's chipmaking push - Bloomberg

06/17/2021 | 02:33am EDT
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He attends the closing session of CPPCC in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) - Vice Premier Liu He, China's economic czar, has been tapped to spearhead the development of so-called third-generation chip production and lead the formulation of policy support for the technology, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday, citing sources.

Liu is also overseeing projects that could lead to breakthroughs in traditional chipmaking, Bloomberg said, citing one of the sources whom it did not name.

Liu, a confidante of President Xi Jinping, already holds a huge portfolio ranging from economics to finance. He has also been the chief negotiator in Sino-U.S. trade talks since the days of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

About $1 trillion of government funding has been set aside under the technology initiative, part of which will be used by central and local governments to jointly invest in a series of third-generation chip projects, Bloomberg reported.

China's State Council and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology did not immediately respond to faxed requests for comment.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate approved a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country's ability to compete with Chinese technology, drawing indignation from China, which objected to being cast as an "imaginary" U.S. enemy.

The measure authorises about $190 billion for provisions to strengthen U.S. technology and research - and would separately approve spending $54 billion to increase U.S. production and research into semiconductors and telecommunications equipment, including $2 billion dedicated to chips used by automakers that have seen massive shortages and caused significant production cuts.

(Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)


ę Reuters 2021
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