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Biren Intelligent Technology Obtains Funding Amidst US Sanctions

Summary

Chinese artificial intelligence chip firm, Biren Intelligent Technology Co., has secured a significant funding pledge of 2 billion yuan ($280 million) from investors backed by the Guangzhou government. This funding comes after the company was blacklisted by the United States […]

Biren Intelligent Technology Obtains Funding Amidst US Sanctions

Chinese artificial intelligence chip firm, Biren Intelligent Technology Co., has secured a significant funding pledge of 2 billion yuan ($280 million) from investors backed by the Guangzhou government. This funding comes after the company was blacklisted by the United States in October 2022, leading Biren to explore alternative funding avenues.

In addition to the funding from Guangzhou, Biren has been engaged in discussions with officials in Hong Kong to raise additional capital. The company is considering the possibility of establishing operations in Hong Kong, which could support the city’s aim of building a local chip industry to contribute to China’s goal of self-sufficiency in advanced semiconductor technology.

While the talks between Biren and the Hong Kong government are ongoing, it is uncertain whether an agreement will be reached.

The increasing restrictions imposed by the US on China’s access to cutting-edge semiconductors have prompted major Chinese technology firms, including Baidu Inc., to actively seek domestic alternatives to Nvidia Corp.’s AI chips. Biren’s success in securing funding from local government-affiliated investors in Guangzhou highlights the growing demand within China for homegrown AI chip solutions.

Moore Threads Intelligent Technology Beijing Co., another domestic competitor to Nvidia, also faced US sanctions in October. Reports suggest that Moore Threads raised a substantial amount from a series B-plus financing round.

The efforts of Chinese tech giants, such as Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu, to stockpile Nvidia chips demonstrate their commitment to advancing their AI capabilities. Baidu claims that its latest large language model can rival OpenAI’s advanced ChatGPT-4 in terms of general capabilities.

Earlier reports from Bloomberg News suggested that Biren is considering a potential listing in Hong Kong. Should the company proceed with this plan, it could further contribute to the Hong Kong government’s objective of nurturing a local chip industry to meet the nation’s critical semiconductor needs.

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