China Investment Corporation (CIC), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, agreed to take a US$300 million stake in Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC; SMI.NYSE, 0981.HK), the Wall Street Journal reported. SMIC, which is China’s largest contract chip maker by capacity, said last month that it intends to spend US$12 billion on rapid expansion during the coming years. The investment is a departure from the usual for CIC, which does not normally take stakes in technology firms. Under the deal, CIC owns 11.6% of SMIC’s outstanding share capital, allowing it to nominate one member of the company’s board. SMIC finally turned a profit in 2010, after several years of losses. Its technology and capacity still lag significantly behind rivals Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSI.NYSE, 2330.TW) and United Microelectronics (UMC.NYSE).