Chinese regulators have restarted their review of Qualcomm Inc’s application to acquire NXP Semiconductors NV after having shelved the work earlier in reaction to growing trade tensions with the US, according to people familiar with the matter.
China’s Ministry of Commerce officials have been asked to hasten the long-delayed review of the purchase and Qualcomm’s proposed remedies to protect local companies, said the people, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. Chinese companies have expressed concern that the combined entity would extend Qualcomm’s patent licensing business into areas like mobile payments and autonomous driving. Shares of both companies rose.
The approval, if it comes, would mark another step back from a trade war that had threatened to engulf the world’s two largest economies. On Sunday, US President Donald Trump stepped in to rescue ZTE Corp, the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker that had been in danger of failing because of a ban on buying US components.
Approval for Qualcomm is not definite at this point and could still be delayed, the people said. The US company declined to comment. Mofcom responded to a faxed request for comment by directing inquiries to the State Administration for Market Regulation, which from Monday had taken over at least some antitrust oversight from the ministry.