China Objects to £ 30 Billion Arm Acquisition Deal: Beijing State Gazette Claims UK Tech Company Can ‘Be Politicized Like a Technology Weapon’
China has emerged as a potential opponent of the US takeover of British chipmaker Arm.
The Global Times newspaper – seen as a mouthpiece for the Beijing communist regime – said the £ 30 billion purchase of Nvidia from Softbank’s company was “troubling” and urged regulators to treat it with caution.
It claimed that Arm could be “ politicized as a technology weapon ” in the US-China trade war, preventing Chinese companies like telecom giant Huawei from buying its chips.
Chip deal: The Global Times newspaper – seen as the mouthpiece for the Chinese communist regime – said Nvidia’s purchase of Arm was ‘troubling’ and urged regulators to treat it with caution
And Zhu Jing, the vice chairman of China’s industry organization the Beijing Semiconductor Association, said, “If Arm is taken over by an American company, everyone will be concerned.”
The comments are significant as the deal requires approval from, among others, Chinese regulators before it can go ahead.
How our company is cutting jobs
The American giant who attacked Arm previously fired hundreds of employees at another British company.
In 2011, Nvidia paid £ 283 million for Bristol-based Icera, a leading microchip company that makes chips for smartphones and internet dongles.
Four years later, Nvidia closed the company and fired 500 staff, in a strategy review to focus on areas such as gaming, automobiles and cloud computing. It later blamed alleged anti-competitive practices of rival Qualcomm.
Nvidia’s rivals, including Qualcomm, say the Arm acquisition could put it in an overly dominant position itself.
They come after British MPs, trade unionists and Arm’s co-founders raised concerns about the takeover, with critics claiming it could threaten jobs and give the American company Nvidia an overly dominant position in the microchip industry.
Arm’s chip designs in Cambridge are used by 70 percent of the world’s population, powering everything from smartphones to computers and game consoles.
Nvidia insists that Arm will remain in the UK, jobs will be protected and its ‘neutral’ approach to selling technology around the world.
The Global Times said, “If Arm falls to the US, Chinese companies would be put at a great disadvantage.
“Not just Huawei, everything could be cut from Arm based chips.”
It said Huawei – already hit by US sanctions over its ties to Beijing – could be barred from buying Arm chips if the deal closes.
Huawei, a major customer of Arm, did not comment.