Tsinghua Holdings Ltd., the parent company of the chip maker trying what could be China’s biggest takeover of a U.S. firm, expects to expand its U.S. partnerships beyond hardware to businesses like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), an executive said.
Tsinghua Holdings Chairman Xu Jinghong told reporters that his business expected to associate with them and had met with representatives from Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). It was not immediately clear when the meetings took place, and Mr. Xu said that the meetings were preliminary introductions, with no discussion of concrete cooperation.
Tsinghua Holdings is the research and investment unit of the premier Tsinghua University in China. It has close ties to senior government officials in Beijing through the school’s alumni network. The company has recently developed interest from Silicon Valley businesses because of the political sway, amid challenging business conditions in China for U.S. businesses.
Intel Corp. bought a position in Tsinghua Holdings’ high-tech subsidiary Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd. in September, and Hewlett-Packard Co. sold a majority stake of its China networking business to the Chinese company in May. Tsinghua Unigroup is seeking to obtain U.S. memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc., in what would be the largest Chinese foreign takeover if successful, The Wall Street Journal reported last month.
“We hope to cooperate with more great companies,” said Mr. Xu on Tuesday. “In the future, we hope to collaborate with Microsoft, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).”
We have been in contact, but we have not discussed real business. We all expect to first get to know each other.”
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) declined to comment. Facebook didn’t instantly reply to a request for opinion.
Uber Technology Chief Executive Travis Kalanick seen Tsinghua Unigroup in June, according to the web site of the latter firm. Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Xu said he is seen increased interest from Silicon Valley in the past year, after Tsinghua Unigroup was assembled into China’s biggest chip maker through acquisitions. He said it’s been a reversal from a decade past, when he couldn’t get meetings with U.S. executives.
“To build good partnerships, you have to be strong yourself first,” he said. “If you aren’t powerful, no one will need to associate with you.”
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is obstructed in China, but has been seeking a return route into the world’s biggest market of Internet users. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg splendidly ran a question and answer session in October at Tsinghua University in Chinese.