| LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS Jan 8 Qualcomm's CEO Paul
Jacobs said on Wednesday that the U.S. mobile chipmaker still
has not been notified about why it has come under antitrust
scrutiny in China since late last year.
In November, Qualcomm announced that China's National
Development and Reform Commission had launched an antitrust
probe into the company. The chipmaker said it was unaware of any
"We really don't know yet," Jacobs told Reuters in an
interview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He
added that it is not unusual for authorities in various
countries not to disclose reasons for their antitrust probes.
Qualcomm has since handed over requested documents to the
The NDRC has launched nearly 20 pricing-related probes of
domestic and foreign firms in the last three years, according to
official media and research published by law firms.
In December, state media quoted a senior official at the
NDRC saying the regulator had "substantial evidence" against the
Some experts have suggested China's government may be
seeking leverage in royalty negotiations or moving to support
local suppliers trying to compete with Qualcomm, the global
leader in 4G technology, also known as Long-Term Evolution
In the last few months, organizations affiliated with the
Chinese government spent nearly $3 billion to buy Chinese mobile
chipmakers Spreadtrum Communications Inc and RDA
Microelectronics Inc. Both companies have technology that
competes with Qualcomm's.
"We're good with the operators because we help the operators
out a lot," Jacobs said. "China has a couple of chipset
manufacturers that just got bought by a government university so
there are all sorts of dynamics going on."
Qualcomm, the world's biggest maker of cellphone chips, sees
China as a key market as growth in smartphones shifts away from
the United States to developing countries. China Mobile has been
preparing to upgrade to high-speed networks using technology
developed by Qualcomm.
"I wouldn't single out any particular company at this point
but we definitely have friends and we definitely have companies
that we know are more antagonistic," said Jacobs, who will step
aside as Qualcomm's CEO in March. He will be replaced by Chief
Operating Officer Steve Mollenkopf.