Alibaba wants to be more self-reliant in technology, as it sets up its own chip-making business.
The Chinese e-commerce conglomerate announced Wednesday that its new company will develop artificial intelligence chips for cloud computing, internet-connected devices and other sectors. The company has been named Pingtouge Semiconductor Company, which refers to the Chinese nickname for the honey badger. The name is inspired by the animal’s daring nature, according to chief technology officer Jeff Zhang.
In recent times, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has hinted at the need to temper over-dependence on U.S. companies for chips and instead focus on building technologies domestically. His comments came around the time the US Commerce Department precluded American companies from selling parts to Chinese tech firm ZTE that relied on US chipmakers for smartphones and telecommunications equipment manufacturing.