China is slowing down NVIDIA’s ARM acquisition

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NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 reviewSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central

NVIDIA’s ARM acquisition isn’t doomed yet, but the obstacles standing in its way aren’t exactly blowing over. Take, for example, the recent situation with EU regulators wherein NVIDIA missed the July boat on paperwork submissions, and now all of Europe is off for summer vacation. But it’s not just Brussels leaving NVIDIA, the maker of some of the best graphics cards (such as the RTX 3060 Ti), in an awkward spot; China’s regulators aren’t speeding proceedings along either.

As reported by The Information, insiders are saying that Chinese competition regulators haven’t even started their formal review of NVIDIA’s proposed acquisition, which can take up to six months and spans three phases. Furthermore, given the scope of NVIDIA’s deal, it may have to go through the process twice or even thrice.

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What’s strange about this particular case is the lack of clarity around why Chinese regulators haven’t begun reviewing the case, given that NVIDIA’s and ARM’s filing is in. The Information speculates that one possible reason for the lack of immediate action on China’s end could be that Huawei and ZTE, two Chinese licensees of ARM, oppose the deal. The extent of their voiced opposition’s influence also remains unclear.

However, Huawei and ZTE aren’t the only companies not digging the deal. Qualcomm has also been a voice amongst the many companies that dislike NVIDIA’s current acquisition attempt.

And, to add to the pile of complications, there’s the fact that ARM China is currently trying to kick out its CEO Allen Wu even though he refuses to leave, which has been the source of extended litigation stemming from the fact that Wu is, in essence, “both the plaintiff and the defendant,” as stated by The Information.

In short, NVIDIA’s a long way from gobbling up ARM and moving on with its operations, in no small part thanks to China and the EU taking their time with assessing the deal.

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