Global Times recently reported that the National Reform and Development Commission (NDRC) has been conducting an antitrust investigation against U.S. chip maker Qualcomm, who may be fined US$1 billion for abuse of its monopoly power. NDRC accused Qualcomm of price gouging and misusing its standard-setting power in the wireless communications market. According to Chinese antitrust laws, NDRC can fine the company in the range of 1 to 10 percent of its annual sales amount. As the largest wireless communications chip maker in the world, Qualcomm’s fiscal year 2013 sales income in the Chinese market was US$12.3 billion, which was half of its global sales total. China is in the process of upgrading its nationwide wireless network infrastructure to 4G technology, which requires Qualcomm-patented chips that are widely used in smartphones. Some analysts suggested that the Chinese antitrust move had the intention of influencing the negotiations on licensing the Qualcomm patents.
Source: Global Times, December 26, 2014