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Boy from pig to leading chip manufacturers China

Updated on May 18, 2016

Zhao Weiguo giants want to become China's first in the semiconductor industry worldwide and plans to invest $ 30 billion (equivalent to 700 trillion) to realize it.

Zhao Weiguo role of president of Tsinghua UniGroup are putting intense ambition into memory chips (memory chips) and unrelenting, even if the foreign legal barriers make it difficult for some of his business. Mobilize funds from local governments, investors and other private funds will be "weapons" to the company challenges the foreign giants such as Samsung Group, one of the producers the world's leading chip maker today. There is an interesting fact is that Zhao did not fancy bank debt, "I can find good projects, so there are many organizations that want to inject some capital investment. Which is the most loyal and ruthless world. It follows you as you make money and leave you even when you can not. "

Memory for devices from mobile phones to computers, field led by Samsung, SK Hynix and Micron Technology could generate $ 20 billion in revenue for this business Tsinghua when extended.

Last year, revenue UniGroup 52 billion yuan (nearly 180 trillion), with profit after tax reached 3.9 trillion yuan (13 trillion). The business of the company's chip brings profit of $ 200 million (equivalent to 4.5 trillion) from 13.5 billion yuan in revenue (46 trillion)

Zhao has long recognized the weakness in the chip manufacturing industry in China, but the market demand is huge. The self-developed technology will take time. "If you buy another company, you get business team and their patents." And Zhao made a series of acquisitions of companies such as Spreadtrum and RDA technology.


China is trying to escape the heavy dependence on foreign technology, the semiconductor industry is the leading politician seen as indispensable for national security.

49-year-old businessman and his business empire has emerged as a candidate to achieve that. Zhao is planning to raise $ 15 billion through the end of 2016 to pay for the acquisition and construction of production capacity. This capital divided equally between the government, private funds and investors.

"Everybody thought that the government promote the development of manufacturing chip array, but the reality is not so." - According to Zhao - "Companies often go head first and then the Government recognize the trend. Tsinghua UniGroup fact that a market-oriented company. All our decisions are based on business. But will be easier to get the support of the Government if you act before. "

"Production of memory is a challenging business, especially if it needs huge amounts of investment, capital recovery slow and risky" - Gu Wenjun, head of iCwise analysis, a consulting firm is headquartered in Shanghai. "I think UniGroup cautious. Before finding the partner organizations and technology resources, leading to cautious. "

UniGroup is just one of the many branches of the Public University Tsinghua - the prestigious University in Beijing, the birthplace of so many distinguished leaders including President Xi Jinping and his predecessor Hu Jintao. The various branches of Tsinghua Unisplendour including electronic and Tongfang Co. Guoxin.

State enterprises or private?

Zhao distinguish very clearly between his business and all other state institutions. "People often call us SOEs but that was a misunderstanding. These SOEs can really have a lot of support from the Government. We absolutely make money in the market itself. "

Along with a focus on memory chips, Zhao removed the ability to penetrate into the processor chip market, being able to compete with the main causes UniGroup its partners Intel Corporation. He also excluded the production under contract for will be competing directly with semiconductor manufacturer Taiwan's leading contract.

Qualcomm, the Group is valued at more than $ 70 billion, well beyond, according to Zhao.

Tsinghua University UniGroup founded in 1988, which later became the main source of investment of this University. The Global Times Business of the University is supported by the Bloomberg news page.

During privatization in 2010, an organization run by Zhao has become the second largest shareholder after UniGroup Tsinghua University.

Who are you?

"My parents came from Henan Province but met in Xinjiang. My father was ordered to go there to work in agriculture because his face was paralyzed on the right-wing presence in 1957. 1978 people no longer distinguish the protesters again. They become teachers. My childhood was mainly for pigs and sheep. Sell ​​Pork is the main source of income of the family. China in 1978 to restore the college entrance exams, everyone is aware that the only way to change your life at that time because of education. Father advised me to learn technology because I can have a better chance to survive if there is political instability. At that time China should only fixing TV TV could make more money. So he told me to do it. I pay for the self-study at Tsinghua University by public TV and wrote the software fix.

I was the eldest, then I also have a brother and sister. I take care of the children when the parents busy in the fields. And now I also can not believe that a 5 year old kid like me could feed 1 3-year-old brother. "

Journey to UniGroup

"I worked at Tsinghua UniGroup after completing the Master Key. After that I do in Tongfang. Working in state-owned enterprises are not interesting so I decided to do something else. From 2000 to 2008 is a good time to invest in mining and real estate. Making property as stolen money then that, then I have to sell mining segment.

Tsinghua UniGroup while not working well. The professors of the school and the leaders know me, support my business skills, and they want to cooperate. Then I buy shares from the minority shareholders and today holds 49% stake. I have declared donated 70% of my personal property for Tsinghua. And I will donate 30% can be different for different universities. The universities in China often do not have much money. "

Business Viewpoint

"I like the company has good human, and I'm also very focused on cash flow. I will not work in a company with negative cash flow, and no merger of the companies I buy. We build better management apparatus for the company and provide resources. We trust and give them autonomy.

Maybe I'm a conservative investor in China. The first principle of my investors are looking for companies in the same way that women go shopping. Then I bought the same target company the antiques dealer. Fast action, just catch the prey hungry tiger. But people do not know how I prepare for the sale. They can only see when I act and think I am a players. But the fact I act very cautiously ".


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