Lost in the soap opera drama surrounding ZTE and the broader issues surrounding the trade war with China, is Qualcomm's $44 billion offer to buy NXP Semiconductors. Originally announced in October 2016, Qualcomm has received regulatory approval from eight of the nine countries required; the lone holdout is China. And the latter is reportedly not going to sign off on the transaction without some progress being made on its trade talks with U.S. negotiators.
Wall Street Journal wrote yesterday that people familiar with the situation say that China will approve the transaction in the next few days. Last month, a spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry said that a preliminary review of a Qualcomm purchase of NXP uncovered "issues that are hard to resolve, making it difficult to eliminate the negative impact."Looking to generate some movement on the issue, Qualcomm is meeting with Chinese antitrust regulators in Beijing this coming week. Representatives from the mobile chip maker had talks characterized as "productive" with members of the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) in Beijing late last week. Qualcomm says it is now "cautiously optimistic" that the deal will be approved by China. The
Apple is part of a group that will offer financial support for the transaction.Last week, China did approve the purchase of Toshiba's memory chip unit to private equity firm Bain Capital for $18 billion.
NXP is the co-inventor of the NFC chips found in many smartphones to facilitate mobile payment services and connectivity between two devices. The company also provides chips for the automotive industry, IoT and more.