Qualcomm has announced that it is under investigation by the Chinese Government for violating anti-trust laws as part of the latest move in a recent crackdown on corporate malfeasance. According to Qualcomm, the Chinese government informed them of the investigation but not of its contents or what specific anti-trust laws the company may have violated.
The move comes as part of a large nation wide crackdown that has focused mainly on foreign companies. The Chinese Government has investigated or fined a few handful of companies in recent months. Everything from baby formula to pharmaceuticals has been targeted, even Starbucks got in trouble for charging too much for their lattes. Qualcomm seems to be just another in a long list of companies brought in by the long arm of China’s law.
Currently, Qualcomm holds a large and growing portion of the mobile market-share in China. Over 32% of all mobile phones utilize Qualcomm chip sets. However, there are many other viable competitors, including U.K. based Imagination Technologies IP, which holds an even larger but shrinking share of the market, currently sitting at over 37%. Such competition, which also includes MediaTek and NVIDIA, is not usually indicative of true a monopoly.
We will have to wait and see what the Chinese Government’s investigation digs up.