Intel (INTC) has announced the establishment of a US$200 million venture capital fund to invest in Chinese technology companies developing innovative hardware, software and services.

"With the establishment of the Intel Capital China Technology Fund, Intel plans to stimulate local technological innovation and the continued growth of China's IT industry," said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. "We will invest in Chinese companies to accelerate technology adoption locally and to foster development of innovative technologies with potential for global distribution."

The Intel Capital China Technology Fund will be used to invest in companies that complement Intel's technology initiatives and to further build out the Internet infrastructure in China. The fund will also provide local businesses with capital to help nurture important technologies and products developed in China. Examples of initial focus areas include cellular communications, broadband applications for consumers, and semiconductor design.

"The pace of IT innovation is accelerating," said Intel Capital President Arvind Sodhani. "Companies around the world should look beyond China's purchasing power and view the country's innovators as potential suppliers. We look forward to working together with the country's leading technology companies to grow China's IT industry together."

Intel Capital, which has investment managers based in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, made its first strategic investment China in 1998 and since then has invested in close to 50 Chinese companies across nine cities in mainland China and Hong Kong. Eleven of these companies have since gone public or have been acquired, including AsiaInfo Holdings Inc., a telecom software supplier; Chinacast Communications Holding Ltd., a total solution service provider for remote education; Sohu.com, an Internet portal; Techfaith Holdings Ltd., an independent cell phone design house; and UTStarcom Inc., a telecom equipment manufacturer.

Notable examples of current Intel Capital investments in China include BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd., an analog power integrated circuit design and manufacturing company; Comlent Holdings Inc., a radio frequency chip maker; HiSoft Technology International Ltd., a software outsourcing company; Maipu Holdings Ltd., a router and data communications company; and Pollex Mobile Holdings, a cellular phone software applications provider.

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