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Meizu Inks Licensing Deal With Qualcomm

Meizu Inks Licensing Deal With Qualcomm

It has not always been a bed of roses for American tech giants when trying to do business in China. Qualcomm is no exception to this. About a couple of years ago, the chip maker giant was slapped with a fine amounting to close to a billion dollars after it was found to be in violation of Chinese antitrust regulations. 

Still, Qualcomm was able to bounce back bit by bit last year by beginning to forge new licensing contracts with various Chinese phone makers. The latest China based mobile manufacturer to team up with the chip maker is Meizu. Qualcomm had announced the deal through a press release just before the year 2016 wrapped up.

For those not familiar with Meizu, the company is considered one of the biggest phone makers in China. Sure, when we talk about Chinese phone brands, names such as Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo come to mind. These names have acquired some familiarity because of the success they have achieved in international markets. 

Meizu may not be at that level yet, but in its homeland, it can hold its own against the Huaweis and Xiaomis of the world. As a matter of fact, back in 2015, Meizu managed to sell more than 20 million units of its smartphones. While it is true that things have not always been smooth for the phone maker (it went through layoffs a few months ago), it does have some strong backers, including Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba.

Meizu’s relationship with Qualcomm is interesting, to say the least. In June of last year, Qualcomm had filed a patent infringement case against Meizu, charging that it had been negotiating with the company for over a year over the use of specific 3G and 4G standards. But as a brand new year starts, it appears that Qualcomm is giving Meizu another shot, by inking a licensing deal with Meizu over the disputed patents after both parties had come to an agreement. As part of this deal, Qualcomm is now discontinuing its legal suits versus Meizu in countries such as the United States, China, Germany, and France.

This new licensing deal with Meizu comes after similar partnerships with two other Chinese powerhouse names in mobile -- Vivo and Oppo. These two brands happen to be the top two phone makers in China, while at the same time claiming the mantle of the fourth and fifth biggest sellers of smartphones devices around the world (next to Samsung, Apple, and Huawei).