U.S. Markets open in 48 mins

Factbox: Profile of China's state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's state-backed Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd is prepared to buy U.S. memory chipmaker Micron Technology Inc <MU.O> for $23 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.

* Founded in 1993 by Beijing's elite Tsinghua University, the company has positioned itself as a champion for China's technological development and has set a target to become the world's third-biggest chipmaker.

* Controlled by Tsinghua Holdings Company Ltd, a conglomerate invested and run by a school committee of Tsinghua University, an institution that counts China's President Xi Jinping as one of its alumni.

* Tsinghua Holdings has a wide range of subsidiaries in the technology industry, including IT services provider Unisplendour Corp Ltd <000938.SZ>, Tsinghua Tongfang Company Ltd <600100.SS> and biological technology firm Chengzhi Shareholding Company Ltd <000990.SZ>.

* To become a "world-class chip giant" - as described on its website - Tsinghua Unigroup has been active in acquiring and forging partnerships with both domestic and foreign companies since 2013 to get a greater foothold in the chip market, an area deemed of vital strategic importance by the Chinese government.

* Acquired Chinese cellphone chip designer Spreadtrum Communications for $1.38 billion in June 2013, while later that year it purchased then U.S.-listed chipmaker RDA Microelectronics Inc for about $910 million.

* In September 2014, Intel Corp <INTC.O> paid up to $1.5 billion for a 20 percent stake in two mobile chipmakers under Tsinghua Unigroup, in a landmark deal that provided the Chinese firm with support from a U.S. semiconductor giant on chip design and development.

* Earlier this year, Tsinghua Unigroup subsidiary Unisplendour Corp Ltd <000938.SZ> bought 51 percent of Hewlett-Packard's <HPQ.N> H3C Technologies for at least $2.3 billion to create a Chinese technology hub that houses H3C's networking operation alongside its China-based server, data-storage and technology-services businesses.

* Tsinghua Unigroup signed an agreement with China Development Bank for financing projects and investments worth 30 billion yuan to build a "flagship business" for China's integrated circuit industry.

(Reporting by Yimou Lee; Editing by Stephen Coates)