President Xi Jinping said that he is “open to approving” the acquisition of Dutch semiconductor firm NXP by US-based Qualcomm, the Nikkei Asian Review reports.
Xi’s comments come several months after the $44 billion deal was all but killed by Chinese regulators at the outbreak of the trade war. The buyout had secured the necessary approval from several antitrust bodies, including those in the United States, Japan and the European Union, but met repeated resistance from Beijing before eventually falling through after Qualcomm’s application exceeded its July 25 deadline.
“We obviously got caught up in something that was above us,” said Qualcomm Steve Mollenkopf after the deal was shelved.
The American company has not yet confirmed renewed interest in the deal. It has already paid a $2 billion breakup fee to NXP and started buying back shares since the missed deadline.
The deal is expected to significantly enhance the US’s presence in the global semiconductor market, an issue that has caught the attention of Chinese policymakers given the technology’s central role in many sensitive industries.