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China Probes Government, Bosses as Chip Race With US Heats Up

  • Investigations have grown since a probe unveiled in November
  • The effort raises questions about Beijing’s chip industry
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China has begun a series of investigations into key figures responsible for shaping chip policy and investment, raising questions about the impact on Beijing’s blueprint for challenging US dominance of a $550 billion industry.

The top anti-graft agency this week launched an investigation into the minister who spearheads the country’s plan to build a world-class chip industry and wean itself off American silicon. Minister of Industry and Information Technology Xiao Yaqing, whose agency oversees giants from Huawei Technologies Co. to Xiaomi Corp., became the most senior sitting cabinet member to face a disciplinary probe in almost four years. The same day, Caixin reported that Ding Wenwu, head of a high-profile state-backed fund that invested tens of billions of dollars in the semiconductor industry, was unreachable after he became the target of a probe.