China state media outlet calls Nvidia’s Arm purchase ‘disturbing’, urges regulatory caution

(Reuters) – An op-ed in China’s state-backed Global Times on Wednesday said U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp’s (NVDA.O) planned acquisition of Arm Ltd from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) was “disturbing”, urging global regulators to exercise caution as they evaluate it for approval.

“Given the U.S.-China tensions and U.S. suppression on a range of Chinese technology enterprises, if Arm falls into U.S. hands, Chinese technology companies would certainly be placed at a big disadvantage in the market,” said the op-ed, the author of which was not named.

SoftBank said on Monday it had agreed to sell Britain-based chip designer Arm to Nvidia for as much as $40 billion in a deal set to reshape the global semiconductor landscape.

The Global Times op-ed said Chinese companies put on the U.S. “entity list” risk getting cut off from using Arm-based chips, while European companies using Arm might also face difficulties supplying China.

In May 2019, the U.S. department of commerce placed Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on a list of companies that American firms are barred from supplying and servicing.

Before Nvidia can assume full control of Arm, anti-monopoly regulators in major markets must signal approval of the transaction.

In 2018, U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) reversed its planned acquisition of Netherlands’ NXP Semiconductor NV (NXPI.O) after Chinese regulators declined to approve it.

(This story changes wording in headline to “caution” from “intervention”, and in first graf to “exercise caution” from “stop”)

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)


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