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New headache for Qualcomm as HiSilicon moves into the merchant market

HiSilicon, the semiconductor arm of Huawei, has presented significant challenges for Qualcomm, and other smartphone chip providers, by taking an increasing percentage of its parent’s orders for handset components and other chips. But while that reduced the addressable market for others considerably – especially when Huawei overtook Apple to become the world’s second largest smartphone provider last year – at least the unit was not selling on the merchant market. Now that has changed, with HiSilicon launching 4G chips that it will sell outside its captive customer. This further complicates the situation in China for Qualcomm, the market leader in smartphone chips. The US supplier has worked hard to build up business with Chinese handset makers, including coming to an…

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