The executive of a top chipmaker in the U.S. said that he is focused on collaborating with the company’s Chinese partners and will continue to support technology launches in the country amid the U.S.-China trade dispute.
“I think it goes without saying that we spend a lot of time helping and supporting the deployment now of 5G in China. So we want to make sure that happens. Those activities are really unaffected by the trade war,” Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm, said during a media briefing Monday.
The San Diego-based company hosted a series of workshops Tuesday and Wednesday at its headquarters to showcase what it envisions for 5G technologies and its own research in the area.
The company’s Chinese clients include Vivo, OPPO, Xiaomi, ZTE, OnePlus and Huawei, all of which have unveiled devices powered by Qualcomm’s mobile platforms and modems.
Qualcomm lowered its estimate for device shipments by 100 million units for the end of 2019 in its third-quarter earnings report. It reported revenue of US$4.9 billion for the quarter, a decrease of 13 percent year-over-year.
During an investor call, Mollenkopf said a weakness in market demand for 4G phones, particularly in China, in anticipation of the 5G rollout, has contributed to the drop in sales. He also mentioned the export ban on Huawei as having an effect on Qualcomm’s revenue.
“As a result of the export ban, Huawei shifted their emphasis to building market share in the domestic China market, where we do not see the corresponding benefit in product or licensing revenue,” Mollenkopf said.
Frank Meng, chairman of Qualcomm China, said in an interview with China Daily that the trade conflict has had a damaging effect on the industry.
Huawei’s American chip suppliers, including Qualcomm and Intel, are quietly pressing the U.S. government to ease the ban on sales to Huawei, Reuters reported in June.
Citing concerns about national security, the Commerce Department put Huawei on the list in May, preventing the company from buying American-made technology.
“And even with Huawei, we have been working very hard to makes sure that we can support them as best as we can, as every company of course has its restriction as a result of the commerce regulations, but we have been able to resume shipments there; we are obviously in applications to try to figure out how to even continue that in the future,” he said.
The company later clarified that its sales included items exempted from an export ban involving the Chinese company.
Mollenkopf stressed the importance of the Chinese market for Qualcomm, citing the growing number of cellphone manufacturers in the country. It’s a very important time for the two countries, and more importantly, for the launch of 5G worldwide, he said.
“We are working very hard to make sure that we continue to be supporting the technology launches and they are happening, independent of the trade war, and our job is to make sure that we can continue the partnerships that we have in place even during this difficult period of time, and hope that those things survive the trade war, whatever happens there,” Mollenkopf added.