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China approves merger of Taiwan chip assemblers

ASE-SPIL deal to go ahead after yearlong wait

ASE Chairman Jason Chang, left, and SPIL Chairman Bough Lin inked the deal in May 2016.

TAIPEI-- China's anti-trust watchdog on Friday approved the merger of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, the world's top chip assembler and tester, with smaller Taiwanese rival Siliconware Precision Industry Ltd., ending a yearlong wait for regulatory approval.

SPIL, meanwhile, announced late Friday evening to sell a 30% stake in its facility in Chinese city of Suzhou to Beijing-backed chipmaker Tsinghua Unigroup. The move is viewed as a trade-off to gain the greenlight for the deal from the Chinese regulator, according to a chip industry executive familiar with the matter.

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