Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with chipmaker Qualcomm to buy its products. Each of these MoUs express a non-binding interest in the purchase of components with an aggregate value of no less than $12 billion over the next three years.
The MoUs were signed at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing led by President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping and President of the United States Donald Trump. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf was part of President Trump’s Department of Commerce Trade Delegation to China, that included executives of leading American companies. Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, Oppo CEO Chen Mingyong, and Vivo CEO Shen Wei attended and signed for their respective companies.
“I’m honored to represent Qualcomm as part of this important Trade delegation, which showcases the importance of win-win business relationships between the US and China,” Steve Mollenkopf, chief executive officer, Qualcomm Incorporated said.
“Qualcomm has longstanding relationships with Xiaomi, Oppo and vivo and we are continuing our commitment to investing and helping advance China’s mobile and semiconductor industries,” he added.
This MoU comes amid reports of component maker Broadcom considering an acquisition of Qualcomm for more than $100 billion. Also running parallel is an intense legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm, wherein the chipmaker has been trying to prevent Apple from manufacturing iPhones in China. ALSO READ: Apple building its own chips to reduce dependence on Qualcomm, Intel: Report
Consequently, according to a WSJ report Apple is seriously considering dropping Qualcomm as a supply partner, a move which would prompt it to source modem chips for the iPhone and iPad from Intel and perhaps MediaTek. Apple. ALSO READ: Ahead of iPhone 8 launch, Qualcomm says Android is the home of all ‘firsts’
This legal battle started in January 2017, when Apple first filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm for allegedly abusing its market position to extract more money from hardware manufacturers. A complex series of countersuits has ensued, ensnaring both companies in a messy and likely to be protracted legal showdown over patent licensing and component contract deals. ALSO READ: Qualcomm sues Apple for passing on trade secrets to rival chipmaker Intel: Report