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Meizu settles with Qualcomm over licensing dispute, resuming international expansion


Back in June, Meizu — known for interesting designs and high specs at low prices — was sued by Qualcomm for refusing to pay licensing fees. The two companies have since settled (via Bloomberg), with four lawsuits around the world coming to a close and Meizu agreeing to license its usage of various tech.

Qualcomm’s ability to set licensing fees and defend their intellectual property in China comes after a 2015 settlement over an antitrust investigation from the government. At the time, China accused the vendor of abusing its dominant position in the mobile chip market. The resulting $975 million fine has since paved the way for 100 other OEMs to license with and pay Qualcomm.

Meizu was a notable holdout, with Qualcomm alleging that the OEM had not negotiated in good faith. As a response, the chipmaker sued in China as well as the US, Germany, and France in a bid to block international expansion.

The resulting fee payments were not revealed, but this was a clear win for Qualcomm. This was the first case where they flexed their ability to sue in Chinese courts and thus defended an important source of revenue. While a bulk of the company’s revenue comes from chip sales, licensing resulted in 75% of profit this fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Meizu can continue international growth — where it currently has .4% of the global marketplace — without fear of litigation. A victory in the world’s largest smartphone market, Qualcomm is still facing another lawsuit from the South Korea government over similar antitrust concerns in the chip space.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: