Chinese regulator challenges Qualcomm: 'We should make money together'

Amidst an investigation into the US firm's business practices, the top Chinese regulator says that the best way to move forward would be for the company and local firms to "make money together."


Qualcomm has been encouraged by a top Chinese regulator to share the spoils of operating in the country and to make money through more local partnerships.

On Wednesday, director of China's State Internet Information Office Lu Wei warned foreign firms not to harm the country's interests while reaping the benefits in profit. According to Chinese publication People Daily, during a panel at the World Economic Forum event in Tianjin, China, Lu said regulation of the Internet is down to the government and in the best interests of Chinese consumers. Lu commented:

"We welcome all foreign companies to do business in China if they stick to this bottom line. What we can not allow is that you undermine the country's interests while doing business in this market and profiting from it."

China is currently conducting a number of antitrust investigations against foreign companies, including Microsoft  and Qualcomm. China's National Development and Reform Commission is leading the latter investigation, in which Qualcomm has been accused of anti-competitive licensing business practices.

The US chip maker's case in particular came up during the panel, where Qualcomm’s executive chairman Paul Jacobs was also nominated as a speaker.

According to the Wall Street Journal, while Jacobs declined to comment on the antitrust proceedings, Lu stepped in and pointed to Qualcomm's Chinese revenue figures, saying "China is a good place to make money." Furthermore, the Chinese regulator went on to say:

"I tell you we should make money together. You should make money with close business and partnerships."

In response, Jacobs said the US chip maker is working with approximately 90 companies in the country, where customers account for almost half -- 49 percent -- of the $24.87 billion in revenue Qualcomm reported in the last fiscal year. 

When asked about China's ongoing antitrust probes, Lu said specific companies are not being targeted -- and the country's industrial policy is open -- but foreign companies "should abide by Chinese laws."

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