September 15, 2020

HMM: Chinese regulators may block Nvidia’s $40b Arm buyout.

The Nvidia-Arm merge brings together Nvidia’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) computing platform with Arm’s vast ecosystem to create a colossal computing company, helping Nvidia expanding into large, high-growth markets. SoftBank is expected to keep about 10 percent of Arm’s stakes.

Arm, which was acquired by SoftBank in 2016, is seen as an independent entity that gives equal treatment to all licensees, with its major customers including Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and Huawei.

“As part of Nvidia, Arm will continue to operate its open-licensing model while maintaining the global customer neutrality that has been foundational to its success,” the US firm said in a statement.

However, the “neutrality” is in serious doubt as Arm will become part of a US firm, which means the Trump administration could contain China’s growing chipset industry from the design side, following its crackdown on Huawei, Ma Jihua, a veteran telecom industry analyst, told the Global Times on Monday.

“The acquisition will affect the development path of China’s chipset industry as most of its products are based on Arm architecture,” said Ma.

Squeeze Beijing until it hurts, and then squeeze some more.

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