Dongfang Jingyuan Electron has raised almost 140 million dollars in private equity capital, according to the Asian Venture Capital Journal. The company based in Beijing is associated with the now defunct US company XTAL, which has been ordered to pay 845 million dollars in damages for stealing intellectual property from ASML Brion. XTAL founder and former Brion employee Yu Zongchang evaded criminal prosecution by moving to China, where he started a new company.
The stolen IP concerned yield-enhancing optical proximity correction software developed by Brion before its acquisition by ASML in 2007. Dongfang is reportedly still selling this software, although it’s not listed among the offerings on its website. The Chinese company currently also focuses on electron-based inspection equipment. The proceeds of the capital round will be used to beef up R&D and construct manufacturing facilities.
ASML has previously reached out to customers urging them to refrain from doing business with Dongfang, the company stated in its 2021 annual report. The Veldhoven-based equipment manufacturer has also shared its concerns with Chinese authorities. A Bloomberg report, however, suggests that Yu Zongchang maintains strong ties with China’s ruling elite. In a book about Chinese tech entrepreneurs, he’s referred to as a “flagbearer” of the Chinese semiconductor industry.