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Qualcomm Reaches Licensing Agreement With Chinese Device Maker OPPO

More than 100 Chinese companies have reached deals with Qualcomm since the chip maker's settlement last year with Chinese antitrust regulators.

Qualcomm chips

Qualcomm has entered into an agreement with GuangDong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications, enabling the Chinese company to license the chip maker's 3G and 4G technologies for its smartphones and other devices.

The two companies on Aug. 1 announced the deal, in which OPPO will pay a royalty to Qualcomm to use its 3G WCDMA and CDMA2000 and 4G—including three-mode (LTE-TDD, TD-SCDMA and GSM)—technologies in its products, which also include Blu-ray players sold in the United States and Europe.

The agreement with OPPO is the latest in a broad range of such deals Qualcomm has reached with mobile device makers in China more than a year after reaching an agreement with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)—the country's antitrust arm—that settled an investigation into the chip maker. As part of the settlement, Qualcomm agreed to pay a $975 million fine and to parameters for patent licensing deals with Chinese device makers.

Since that time, more than 100 smartphone makers in China have signed patent licensing deals with Qualcomm, the world's largest maker of low-power systems on a chips (SoCs) for smartphones and other devices. However, Qualcomm officials in June announced they had filed more than a dozen complaints against smartphone maker Meizu Technology, saying the company was continuing to use Qualcomm's technologies without signing a patent licensing agreement.

Qualcomm officials didn't say how much OPPO will have to pay in royalties, though they did say the royalties would be in line with the agreement reached with the NDRC.

Qualcomm and other U.S.-based tech vendors, such as Intel and IBM, are making strong moves into the lucrative Chinese market. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said China has become a significant market for the company for the patent licensing deals that are being made, the growing number of new device makers in the country and the high rate of device upgrades being made by Chinese consumers.

Alex Rogers, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Technology Licensing, said the company is happy with the agreement made with OPPO.

"As an R&D engine for the industry, we are excited to see companies such as OPPO build on our patented technologies to drive further development and innovation and create compelling products," Rogers said in a statement.