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Chipmaker Tsinghua brings China's national ambition within reach

Huge memory plant looks to supply domestic industry and cut reliance on US

With interior construction on a factory building underway, Tsinghua Unigroup's massive memory plant is set to begin production by the end of the year. (Photo by Kotaro Hosokawa)

TOKYO -- Tsinghua Unigroup is on the cusp of a massive output expansion for memory chips, with another $100 billion in investment on the way, playing a central role in China's drive to develop a world-class semiconductor industry.

Around 30km east of central Wuhan, in a new, tech-focused industrial development zone, China's premier state-backed chipmaker is putting the finishing touches on a $24 billion plant. Operated by Tsinghua subsidiary Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., the factory is set to start churning out NAND flash memory chips, used in devices such as smartphones, by the end of the year.

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