Oct 5, 2020

Chinese chipmaker SMIC suppliers face export restrictions

William Smith
2 min
The Chinese semiconductor foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation is to face export restrictions on its suppliers
The Chinese semiconductor foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation is to face export restrictions on its suppliers...

The Chinese semiconductor foundry Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation is to face export restrictions on its suppliers.

According to Reuters, SMIC said it had entered into “preliminary exchanges” with the United States’ Bureau of Industry and Security in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The company, whose customers include the likes of global players such as Qualcomm, Broadcom and Texas Instruments, first entered stormy seas last week, when the US Department of Commerce warned its American suppliers about links to the Chinese military, emphasising that they had to apply for licenses to ship items to SMIC.

The filing further said that “the Company is conducting assessments on the relevant impact of such export restrictions on the company’s production and operation activities.”

The move comes amidst a wider suspicion of the connections between Chinese technology firms and the Chinese state.

The long-running TikTok saga rumbles on, potentially beyond President Trump’s term in office. The conflict, which started when Trump issued an executive order that would see the firm banned in the US, saw a race to restructure the company and spin off a new organisation known as TikTok Global with investment from Oracle and Walmart. The deal would see data about users kept in the United States on Oracle systems.

Before that, it was Huawei that was grabbing the headlines, due to its market-leading involvement in the ever-more critical 5G infrastructure and suspicion regarding its links to the Chinese government. That led to restrictions on US companies dealing with Huawei, with such ramifications as Huawei’s flagship line of phones launching without Google apps despite running on the Android operating system.

Perhaps more consequentially, numerous governments have banned the company from providing its 5G solutions. That includes the UK, which has mandated a total removal of the company’s technology by 2027, reversing an earlier decision to persevere in “non-critical” areas. 

Share article

Jun 18, 2021

Start-ups receive $60 billion investment, smash 2020 record

Laura Berrill
2 min
Europe’s tech sector start-ups attracted more venture capital investment in 2021 than the whole of 2020 with the UK leading in tech policy

Start-ups on the continent have raised a massive 43.8 billion euros ($60.9 billion) in just the first six months of 2021, according to figures from Dealroom, surpassing the record 38.5 billion euros invested last year..

This is despite the fact that the number of venture deals signed so far is around half the amount agreed in 2020. Only about 2,700 funding rounds have been raised so far this year, compared to 5,200 last year.

Prime examples in times of change

Examples are Swedish buy-now-pay-later firm Klarna which has raised more than $1.6 billion in two financing rounds, the German stock trading app Trade Republic received $900 million in May and British payments provider Checkout.com snapped up $450 million at the start of the year.

The figures suggest that European tech firms are pulling in far larger sums of money per investment than in previous years, which defies the economic uncertainty of the pandemic and boosted online services enormously.

The CEO of Checkout.com, Guillaume Pousaz, said start-ups have often been created in times of crisis, citing the emergence of several new financial technology companies in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.

He added that big transformational change was often the time when there is the emergence of a lot of new start-ups, sometimes when people are losing their jobs for associated reasons.

UK leading the charge

Scale-Up Europe, a group that includes the founders of UiPath and Wise, proposed 21 recommendations to help the region build “the next generation of tech giants.” Among the suggestions are tax credits to corporates for investing in start-ups and regulatory changes that adapt to new innovations.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, said the U.K. leads Europe when it comes to tech policy, and that there were a number of regulatory issues needing to be addressed before the European Union can produce tech giants of its own.

Siemiatkowski highlighted EU regulation of web cookies as an example of “poor regulation.” Yet, as the number of $1 billion start-ups in Europe continues to grow, the number of exits in the continent is also increasing. 

This year has already seen some notable acquisitions, including Etsy’s $1.6 billion purchase of U.K. fashion resale app Depop and JPMorgan’s takeover of London robo-advisor Nutmeg.

As for stock market listings, a number of notable debuts have taken place in London in particular, including food delivery app Deliveroo, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and reviews site Trustpilot. Money transfer giant Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, plans to go public in the U.K. capital soon.


Share article