Company sees many opportunities on mainland Intel Capital, the venture capital arm of Intel Corp, will plough US$500 million into technology start-up companies on the mainland and in Hong Kong over the next three to five years as international demand grows for a stake in China's increasingly lucrative technology sector. Intel Capital will target companies engaged in software development, chip design, gaming, wireless broadband and digital health, according to Arvind Sodhani, the president of Intel Capital and an executive vice-president of Intel, the world's biggest computer-chip maker. 'We see many opportunities in China and we will chase them,' Mr Sodhani said in Beijing yesterday. The new fund will make its first investments in Holdfast Online Technology, a Shanghai-based start-up that makes technology for online gaming, and Beijing's Newauto Video Technology, which provides network solutions and digital editing for mainland television stations. The announcement comes just three years after Intel Capital launched a US$200 million China-focused technology fund, which it has fully invested in around 30 local companies, far more rapidly than the company had anticipated. 'Investing in China is very attractive. Our fund has produced top-tier returns comparable to those of the world's top-tier venture capital funds,' Mr Sodhani said. One such investment was in gaming and software developer Kingsoft, which raised HK$768 million when it listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange last year. Intel Capital was also an early investor in household names such as Sohu and PCCW. The new technology fund, the largest of Intel's funds to be specifically targeted at a single country, will aim to foster technological innovation and entrepreneurship in its portfolio companies, with a typical investment worth US$10 million. 'We add value in terms of technological know-how that other venture capital firms do not, but we do not compete with other venture firms in the management space,' said Mr Sodhani. 'Having the endorsement of a market giant like Intel is a major advantage for a start-up company. It also gives a leg-up in terms of corporate awareness,' said Peter Hsieh, general manager of AsiaVest's Beijing branch, a venture capital firm that focuses on investing in technology companies in Greater China. However, one mainland venture capitalist warned: 'Receiving investment from a major firm like Intel is a double-edged sword because it makes it much harder to bring other venture capital partners on board.' Intel, which has invested about US$4 billion in China, is building a US$2.5 billion chip factory in the northeast port city of Dalian to help meet demand in the world's biggest semiconductor market. US-based venture capitalists invested a record US$1.4 billion in China last year, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the US National Venture Capital Association.