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Sheepherder Turned Billionaire Eyes Micron to Build Chip Empire

Zhao Weiguo knew the only way to avoid a future raising pigs and herding sheep in rural China was education. Thirty years after enrolling in prestigious Tsinghua University, the billionaire is using the backing of his alma mater to build a technology empire.

Deals to buy chip designers, along with partnerships with Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp., have helped his Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. assemble a business spanning cloud computing, mobile and semiconductors. Now the company is said to plan offering $23 billion for Micron Technology Inc. to take on Samsung Electronics Co. in the hotly-contested memory chip industry.