Even though the U.S.-China trade negotiations are entering the endgame, the United States does not show any sign of easing pressure on China in the semiconductor sector. This time, Qualcomm of the United States has decided to shut down its joint venture with a Chinese company at the end of this month. Qualcomm will close down the joint venture only three years after its establishment. This will give Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix time to widen their gaps with Chinese companies.
HXT Semiconductors, the joint venture established by Qualcomm in China in 2016, will shut down on April 30, said media outlets and industry sources on April 19. Qualcomm and Guizhou Province of China jointly invested US$588 million to establish HXT Semiconductor for the development and sales of server semiconductors.
As the collaboration with Qualcomm breaks down, HXT Semiconductor’s product development would be delayed or stop, many experts say. "Qualcomm seems to have decided to end collaboration, considering the U.S. government's conflict with China," said an executive of a semiconductor company.
U.S. semiconductor companies' relations with China have been deteriorating. Recently, America's largest semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials announced that it would put an end to its trade with Xiamen Sanan Optoelectronics of China. In February of this year, Intel decided to stop cooperating with Tsinghua Unigroup of China in the field of 5G modem chips. Intel’s decision was shocking because it holds a 20 percent stake in Tsinghua Unigroup.