A non-executive director for Shanghai-based chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) and "Big Fund" vice president is under investigation in China for alleged corruption.
According to state-sponsored media, SMIC director Ren Kai, who also serves as vice president at Sino IC Capital, is being probed by China's anti-corruption agency on suspicion of "serious violations of discipline and law."
Sino IC Capital is the management entity of the China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund. Also known as the "Big Fund," it provides financing to Chinese semiconductor design and manufacturing capabilities to heighten competitiveness globally, including with the US, South Korea, and Taiwan. SMIC has been a beneficiary to the fund, along with others.
SMIC said in a statement [PDF] that it understood Ren Kai was "alleged to have seriously violated discipline and law and is [currently] under investigation."
The chipmaker also clarified Ren's role as a non-executive director and member of the board's strategic committee. However, said SMIC, his roles do not involve daily management and the investigation does not have operation or financial impact.
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Over the past two months, China's anti-corruption enforcers have investigated at least six other execs or former execs from Sino IC Capital and others associated with the Big Fund. Chinese authorities have not divulged any details or findings from the investigations, leaving some to wonder what one even needs to do to warrant a probe.
Ren has overseen big investments from the fund, including those to SMIC, ChangXin Memory Technologies, and Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp. State-sponsored media claimed Ren had "a close relationship" with Lu Jun, the former chief executive at Sino IC who was put under investigation last July. ®