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报告称美国风投公司向中国芯片行业投资逾10亿美元

ANA SWANSON, ERIN GRIFFITH

2024年2月9日

中国一家芯片制造厂的工人。美国众议院的一份报告称,在政府去年8月禁止投资之前,美国的风险投资公司已向中国半导体行业投了逾10亿美元的资金。 China Daily/via Reuters

A congressional investigation has determined that five American venture capital firms invested more than $1 billion in China’s semiconductor industry since 2001, fueling the growth of a sector that the United States government now regards as a national security threat.

国会一项调查确认,自2001年以来,五家美国风险投资公司为中国的半导体行业总共投入逾10亿美元的资金,推动了这个如今被美国政府视为国家安全威胁的中国行业的发展。

Funds supplied by the five firms — GGV Capital, GSR Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Walden International — went to more than 150 Chinese companies, according to the report, which was released Thursday by both Republicans and Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party.

这份由众议院美中战略竞争特别委员会的两党成员周四发布的报告显示,这五家公司——纪源资本、金沙江创业投资基金、高通风险投资、红杉资本和华登国际——为150多家中国公司提供了资金。

The investments included roughly $180 million that went to Chinese firms that the committee said directly or indirectly support Beijing’s military. That includes companies that the U.S. government has said provide chips for China’s military research, equipment and weapons, such as Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, or SMIC, China’s largest chipmaker.

这些投资中约有1.8亿美元流向委员会所称的直接或间接支持北京军方的中国公司。其中包括美国政府所称为中国军事研究、设备和武器研制提供芯片的公司,例如中国最大的芯片制造商中芯国际。

The report by the House committee focuses on investments made before the Biden administration imposed sweeping restrictions aimed at cutting off China’s access to American financing. It does not allege any illegality.

这份众议院委员会的报告主要针对拜登政府为切断中国获得美国融资渠道而实施全面限制之前的投资。报告没有指控任何公司有非法行为。

Last August, the Biden administration banned U.S. venture capital and private equity firms from investing in Chinese quantum computing, artificial intelligence and advanced semiconductors. It has also imposed worldwide limits on sales of advanced chips and chip-making machines to China, arguing that these technologies could help advance the capabilities of the Chinese military and spy agencies.

去年8月,拜登政府禁止了美国风险投资和私募股权公司投资中国的量子计算、人工智能和先进半导体。拜登政府也已对向中国出售先进芯片和芯片制造设备施加了全球范围的限制,认为这些技术能帮助提高中国军事和间谍机构的能力。

Since it was established a year ago, the committee has called for raising tariffs on China, targeted Ford Motor and others for doing business with Chinese companies, and spotlighted forced labor concerns involving Chinese shopping sites.

自从一年前成立以来,该委员会一直呼吁对中国提高关税将福特汽车和其他与中国公司一起开展业务的美国企业作为调查对象,并特别关注涉及中国购物网站的强迫劳动问题

The report recommended that Congress curb investments in all Chinese entities that are subject to certain U.S. trade restrictions or included on federal “red flag” lists, as well as their parent companies and subsidiaries. That would include companies that partner with the Chinese military or have ties to forced labor in China’s Xinjiang region. The U.S. government should also consider imposing controls on other industries, like biotechnology and fintech, the lawmakers said.

报告建议,国会限制为所有受到美国某些贸易限制,或被列入联邦政府“红旗名单”的中国实体及其母公司和子公司的投资。这将包括与中国军方合作,或与中国新疆地区的强迫劳动有关的公司。这些立法者表示,美国政府也应该考虑对生物技术和金融科技等其他行业施行控制。

Sequoia said last June, before the committee had announced its investigation into private funding, that it would separate its China arm from its U.S. operations and rename it HongShan. A few months later, GGV Capital said it would separate its Asia-focused business.

去年6月,在该委员会宣布将对私人投资进行调查之前,红杉资本表示将把其中国业务与美国业务完全分开,独立运营的公司将使用红杉中国这一名称。几个月后,纪源资本宣布将其亚洲业务剥离出去独立运营。

Walden did not respond to a request for comment. A representative from GSR declined to comment. GGV provided a list of corrections and clarifications to the report and stated it has been in compliance with all applicable laws. GGV is also trying to sell its stakes in three companies discussed in the report.

华登没有回复置评请求。金沙江创投的代表拒绝置评。纪源资本对委员会的报告提供了一份更正和澄清清单,并表示公司一直遵守所有适用法律。纪源资本也正在试图出售其对报告中提到的三家公司所持的股份。

A Sequoia spokeswoman said the firm takes U.S. national security issues seriously and has always had processes in place to ensure compliance with U.S. law. The firm finalized its split from HongShan on Dec. 31.

红杉发言人表示,公司严肃对待美国的国家安全问题,并始终一直有相应的程序来确保遵守美国法律。红杉已在去年12月31日完成了与红杉中国的分拆。

A Qualcomm spokeswoman said its investments were small compared to the venture capital firms and made up less than 2 percent of the investments discussed in the report.

高通风投的发言人表示,与风险投资公司相比,该公司的投资规模很小,在特设委员会报告中讨论的投资额中只占不到2%。

Officials in Washington increasingly see business ties even with private Chinese technology companies as problematic, arguing that China has tried to draw on the expertise of the private sector to modernize its military.

美国政府官员们越来越多地认为,即使是与民营的中国技术企业的商业关系也存在问题,他们认为中国试图利用民营部门的专业知识来实现军队现代化

Committee leaders conceded that many of these investments were made when the United States was encouraging greater economic engagement with China.

该委员会的领导人承认,报告中提到的许多投资是在美国鼓励与中国加强经济接触的时期进行的。

“We all made this bet 20 years ago on China’s integration into the global economy, and it was logical,” said Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, the committee’s chairman. “It just happened to have failed.” He added, “Now, I just I think there’s no excuse anymore.”

“20年前,我们都曾押注中国融入全球经济的好处,那是合乎逻辑的,”威斯康星州众议员、特设委员会主席迈克·加拉格尔说。“只不过后来我们赌输了。”他补充说,“现在,我只是觉得没有任何借口了。”

The 57-page report draws on information provided to the committee by the firms about their investments, as well as interviews with senior executives at multiple firms.

这份57页长的报告使用了这些公司向委员会提供的有关其投资的信息,以及对多家公司高管的走访。

The committee’s report looked at just some of the funding flowing to China. Between 2016 and July 2023, Chinese semiconductor companies raised $8.7 billion in deals that included U.S. investment firms, according to PitchBook, which tracks start-up funding. That investment peaked in 2021.

该委员会的报告只关注了流向中国资金中的一部分。据追踪初创企业融资的PitchBook,在自2016年到2023年7月的这段时间里,中国的半导体公司在包括美国投资公司在内的企业交易中总共筹集了87亿美元。这类投资在2021年达到了峰值。

Venture capital firms pursued aggressive global expansion, particularly into Asia, for several decades. But they have known since the Trump administration took a more aggressive stance toward China that investments in Chinese companies would be subject to increasing scrutiny.

几十年来,风险投资公司一直积极向全球,尤其是亚洲扩张业务。但自从特朗普政府对中国采取了更强硬的立场以来,它们已知道对中国企业投资将受到越来越严的审查。

“No one is touching China now,” said Linus Liang, an investor at the venture firm Kyber Knight Capital.

“现在没人碰中国,”风险投资公司骑士资本的投资人莱纳斯·梁(音)说。

Splitting off investment entities with ties to China, as Sequoia and GGV did, may not resolve the committee’s concerns about American financing and technology ending up in Chinese companies, the report stated. Sequoia’s newly separated China-based firm, HongShan, counts U.S. investors among its backers. And HongShan and GGV’s new unit, GGV Asia, could still invest in U.S. start-ups, the report said.

委员会的报告称,像红杉资本和纪源资本那样拆分与中国有联系的投资实体也许不能解决委员会对美国的资本和技术最终流入中国企业的担忧。最近从红杉分拆出去的红杉中国的投资人中有美国投资者。委员会的报告称,红杉中国、以及从纪源分离出去的纪源亚洲也能投资美国的初创企业。

Much of the report focuses on Walden International, a California-based company that was one the earliest and most influential foreign investors in the Chinese chip sector. Walden is led by Lip-Bu Tan, the former chief executive of Cadence Design Systems, a chip design firm, and a current board member at Intel.

报告的大部分内容关注的是华登国际,这家公司的总部设在加州,是中国芯片行业最早、最有影响力的外国投资者之一。华登由陈立武领导,他曾任芯片设计公司Cadence Design Systems的首席执行官,现任英特尔董事会成员。

Walden International created various funds for the chip sector in partnership with the Chinese government and Chinese state-owned companies, including a prominent military supplier, the report said.

委员会的报告称,华登国际与中国政府和中国国有企业(包括一家著名的军事供应商)合作,为中国芯片行业设立了各种各样的基金。

It was a founding shareholder and early source of financing for SMIC, which is now subject to U.S. trade restrictions because of its ties to the Chinese military. Walden gave $52 million to SMIC over several decades, the committee found, as well as tens of millions of dollars to SMIC affiliates. Mr. Tan also served on SMIC’s board of directors.

华登是中芯国际的创始股东和早期资金来源。中芯国际因其与中国军方的关系,现在受到美国的贸易限制。该委员会发现,华登在过去几十年里对中芯国际的投资达5200万美元,并对中芯国际下属的公司投入数千万美元的资金。陈立武还曾是中芯国际董事会成员。

He is credited with bringing SMIC and other firms a combination of financing, tools and intellectual property for chip design, as well as profitable connections with customers.

他为中芯国际和其他公司带来了芯片设计方面的融资、工具和知识产权,以及有益的客户人脉。

While SMIC was labeled a “trusted customer” by the U.S. government in 2007, skepticism of the company’s activities has grown in Washington in more recent years. Today, the company is key to China’s ambitions to create a thriving chip sector and lessen its dependence on the United States.

虽然中芯国际曾在2007年被美国政府称为“值得信赖的客户”,但近年来,华盛顿对这家公司的活动的怀疑有所增长。如今,中芯国际已成为中国实现芯片产业蓬勃发展、减少对美国依赖的关键。

Walden, along with Qualcomm Ventures, the investing arm of chipmaker Qualcomm, invested tens of millions of dollars into Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment, or AMEC, a Chinese company that makes the machines needed to manufacture chips. AMEC, a supplier to SMIC and other Chinese chipmakers, is vital to China’s efforts to build up its chip making industry after the United States placed restrictions on selling China the most advanced chip making machines.

华登以及芯片制造商高通的投资部门高通风投为中微半导体设备(上海)有限公司投了数千万美元的资金,这家中国公司生产制造芯片所需的机器。中微是中芯国际和其他中国芯片制造商的设备供应者,在美国限制向中国出售最先进的芯片制造设备后,该公司对中国发展芯片制造产业的努力至关重要。

China’s semiconductor companies are well funded by the country’s government. But ties with U.S. venture capital firms provide Chinese companies with managerial expertise as well as access to technology and the American and European markets. American venture capital firms have also tried to sway U.S. officials and regulators on behalf of Chinese companies in their portfolio, like TikTok.

中国的半导体公司得到政府的大力支持。但与美国风险投资公司的关系为它们提供了管理专业知识,以及获得技术、进入美国和欧洲市场的机会。美国风险投资公司也试图替其投资组合中像TikTok这样的中国公司说话,影响美国的官员和监管机构。


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