Appliance maker Gree formally enters the chip game

董明珠芯片团队曝光:格力电器10亿元注册集成电路全资子公司 —Ifeng Finance

What happened: Electronic appliance manufacturer Gree has established a wholly-owned subsidiary chip company, Zhuhai Zero-Boundary Integrated Circuit Limited, investing RMB 1 billion ($146 million). Gree said that the new subsidiary will be focusing on chip design for Gree’s key products such as air conditioners. Dong Mingzhu, CEO at Gree and one of the most powerful business gurus in China, said that to enter the field, Gree is willing to invest even RMB 50 billion.

Why it’s important: Capital injection in China’s chip design and manufacturing field has become a norm, but few thoughts are given to the question of whether just money can lead to tangible results. Before the establishment of Gree’s chip subsidiary, China’s tech industry suspected that Gree’s chip dream is just another fantasy. The discussion over China’s core technology capabilities ignited again after Redcore, a so-called “100% China-made” browser, was reported to be based on Chrome’s open source structure.