LAS VEGAS (Reuters) — Qualcomm's <QCOM.O>
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 possible
"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 NDRC.
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 chipmaker.
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 (LTE).
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
"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.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; editing by