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Qualcomm Signs Up Another Chinese Smartphone Maker

The chip maker reaches a licensing agreement with Vivo to enable the company to use Qualcomm's 3G and 4G technologies in its devices.


Qualcomm continues to sign Chinese smartphone makers to licensing deals that allow the companies to use the chip maker's 3G and 4G technologies in their products.

Most recently, Qualcomm entered into a licensing agreement with Vivo Communication Technology, the third largest smartphone maker in a lucrative Chinese market. Through the deal, Vivo will pay royalties for using Qualcomm's 3G WCDMA and CDMA2000 and 4G LTE—including three-mode GSM, TD-SCDMA and LTE-TDD—in devices that will be sold in China.

The deal with Vivo is in line with an agreement that Qualcomm reached last year with Chinese regulators that settled an anti-trust investigation into the chip maker. As part of the settlement with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)—the country's antitrust arm—Qualcomm agreed to pay a $975 million fine. In addition, the chip maker agreed to certain parameters for patent licensing deals with Chinese device makers.

Qualcomm officials have said that since reaching the agreement with the Chinese government, more than 100 smartphone makers in the country have signed patent licensing deals with Qualcomm, the world's largest maker of low-power systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) for smartphones and other devices. The agreement with Vivo comes a week after Qualcomm reached a similar agreement with GuangDong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications, a company that Gartner analysts in May said was the world's fourth-largest smartphone vendor, behind Samsung, Apple and Huawei Technologies and ahead of Xiaomi, another Chinese device maker that has signed a licensing deal with Qualcomm.

Officials with the chip maker have said the Chinese market is a significant growth area for the company, and signing vendors to licensing agreements is a key part of the effort to grow in the country. Vivo has used Qualcomm SoCs in such devices as X7, X7Plus and Xplay5.

"Qualcomm is committed to the continued success of China's wireless industry," Alex Rogers, senior vice president and general manager at Qualcomm Technology Licensing, said in a statement. "We are pleased to sign a new licensing agreement with Vivo that builds on our long standing relationship. It is exciting to see our technology enabling many large Chinese mobile-device manufacturers such as Vivo to become successful global players."

Qualcomm hasn't had an uninterrupted string of success with smartphone makers in the country. The chip maker in June announced that it 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.