snapdragon

Qualcomm Subject to Chinese Antitrust Investigation

November 26, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

They say that it’s tough at the top and for Qualcomm, it looks like that’s coming true. Recently, they trimmed the fat at the top to cut costs and now, the Chinese government is investigating them under antitrust claims. In the last couple of years, Qualcomm has almost become a household name, or at least “Snapdragon” has. Users like us will know what’s in our phones, its clock speeds, its GPU etc. However, average consumers don’t really care that much as long as it’s fast. With Qualcomm’s latest campaigns however, it’s easy for average consumers to walk into a store and say “Does this have a Snapdragon in it?”. Their newfound talent for marketing and LTE has propelled them to the top of the mobile game, with everyone from Samsung to Nokia using their chips in their smartphones.

BBC News is reporting that the Chinese government is looking into the American chip giant under antitrust allegations. Qualcomm has said that they’re assuming it has something to do with China’s anti-monopoly laws and that they were “not aware of any charge” by regulators. They then went on to suggest that the investigation probably has more to do with the upcoming launch of 4G LTE in the country on December 18th. By now, you’ve probably realized that Qualcomm’s chips are a big deal when it comes to LTE, with Samsung having to use their chips in favor of their own Exynos line in order to deliver optimum 4G performance.

Travis McCourt, an analyst with Raymond James & Associates has this to say on the matter: “”We suspect this investigation is related to the forthcoming launch of TD-LTE by China Mobile… and the negotiations on chip pricing and license pricing between Qualcomm and Chinese-based handset [manufacturers] that are likely occurring right now,”.

Moreover, we wouldn’t be surprised if this all had something to do with Chinese companies like MediaTek struggling to get into the big-name devices. Sure, their new MT6592 Octa-Core CPU is a decent processor but, the Oppos, Xiaomis and Meizus all tend to use competing processor brands, with Oppo and Xiaomi opting for Qualcomm’s. This sort of thing has probably caught the Chinese government’s eye, after all seeing an American brand do better than a Chinese one is probably not what they want.