Qualcomm eases pressure with $12 billion deal with Chinese smartphone makers

When US President Donald Trump announced that he was heading to China to strike trade deals with major technology players, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was just bravado. However, it appears that the enigmatic president has delivered on his word.

Qualcomm in particular appears to have benefited from Trump’s trip. Reaching agreements with three Chinese smartphone vendors, Qualcomm announced that it had signed non-binding deal worth around $12 billion. The Qualcomm deals are part of broader agreements signed during US President Donald Trump’s first state visit to China, underscoring the strength of commercial partnerships between the world’s two largest economies.

Under the ‘memorandums of understanding’, Xiaomi, Oppo Electronics and Vivo Mobile Communication Technology said they plan to buy smartphone components, mostly chips, from Qualcomm over the next three years. It will come as welcome news as Apple continues its patent dispute with the chip maker and the iPhone maker looks to develop more of its technology in house.

Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, said: "We have been cooperating with Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo for a long time. We will continue investing into China’s semiconductor and mobile industry."

Qualcomm has suffered in the last quarter due to antitrust investigations as well as its dispute with Apple. In the quarter ended in September, it posted an almost 90 per cent slump in profit. Earlier this week, Qualcomm’s rival chip maker Broadcom tabled a takeover bid in the region of $103 billion. Noticing that its rival was on the ropes Broadcom had hoped to swoop in. However, with these new deals in place, Qualcomm appear to be have a bit more fight left in them. 

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