Arm fires the head of its Chinese unit – but Arm China says Allen Wu still works there

Alleged conflicts of interest surround trans-continental boardroom battle

Chip designer Arm is fighting for control of its Chinese joint venture after a series of contradictory statements about the removal of the unit's chief exec.

The UK-headquartered company released a statement on Tuesday saying the board of Arm's China branch had fired Allen Wu as chairman and CEO, and replaced him with two interim co-CEOs, Ken Phua and Phil Tang.

The following day, Arm China used its WeChat account to say Wu remains atop the company.

"Mr Allen Wu continues to serve as chairman and CEO of Arm China, an independent and legal entity legally registered in China, in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations," the post said.

"Arm China is operating normally and continues to provide support and service to its customers and industry partners in China."

But later that day, Arm hit back with statement that included the support of Hopu, a Chinese investment company that is a major shareholder in Arm China. The missive reiterated that it had ousted Wu, explaining that the decision had been made after "complaints from whistleblowers and several current and former employees."

Arm goes off road... map: 5nm Cortex-X1 touted for phone, tablet, laptop processors needing Apple-level oomph


"Evidence was obtained from multiple sources that Allen Wu had failed to disclose to the Company the conflicts of interest he had created and the violations of the Company's Code," the statement said.

"The Board believes that the removal of Allen Wu is a responsible and ethical decision that will ensure the long-term stability and growth of ARM China's business."

Wu, who is a US citizen, has led Arm's China business since 2014 and became head of the Arm China joint venture when it was established in 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The joint venture, called Arm China, was set up after Softbank sold a 51 per cent stake in its Chinese subsidiary to a consortium of local investors for $775m in 2018. Investors included the Silk Road fund and Singapore's state investment vehicle, Temasek Holdings.

The firm operates offices in Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai, and acts as an intermediary between Arm's Cambridge headquarters and Chinese clients like Huawei.

Arm's business model is licensing chip designs, and its approach saw it dominate the emerging smartphone market. Huawei, Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and MediaTek are all customers, justifying the $32bn SoftBank spent to acquire the company in 2016. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • Restructure at Arm focused on 'non-engineering' roles
    Meanwhile, CEO wants to vacuum up engineering talent amid return to stock market

    Updated Arm today told The Reg its restructuring ahead of its return to the stock market is focused on cutting "non-engineering" jobs.

    This is after we queried comments made this morning by Arm chief executive Rene Haas in the Financial Times, in which he indicated he was looking to use funds generated by the expected public listing to expand the company, hire more staff, and potentially pursue acquisitions. This comes as some staff face the chop.

    This afternoon we were told by an Arm spokesperson: "Rene was referring more to the fact that Arm continues to invest significantly in its engineering talent, which makes up around 75 percent of the global headcount. For example, we currently have more than 250 engineering roles available globally."

    Continue reading
  • Arm says its Cortex-X3 CPU smokes this Intel laptop silicon
    Chip design house reveals brains of what might be your next ultralight notebook

    Arm has at least one of Intel's more capable mainstream laptop processors in mind with its Cortex-X3 CPU design.

    The British outfit said the X3, revealed Tuesday alongside other CPU and GPU blueprints, is expected to provide an estimated 34 percent higher peak performance than a performance core in Intel's upper mid-range Core i7-1260P processor from this year.

    Arm came to that conclusion, mind you, after running the SPECRate2017_int_base single-threaded benchmark in a simulation of its CPU core design clocked at an equivalent to 3.6GHz with 1MB of L2 and 16MB of L3 cache.

    Continue reading
  • Intel is running rings around AMD and Arm at the edge
    What will it take to loosen the x86 giant's edge stranglehold?

    Analysis Supermicro launched a wave of edge appliances using Intel's newly refreshed Xeon-D processors last week. The launch itself was nothing to write home about, but a thought occurred: with all the hype surrounding the outer reaches of computing that we call the edge, you'd think there would be more competition from chipmakers in this arena.

    So where are all the AMD and Arm-based edge appliances?

    A glance through the catalogs of the major OEMs – Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Inspur, Supermicro – returned plenty of results for AMD servers, but few, if any, validated for edge deployments. In fact, Supermicro was the only one of the five vendors that even offered an AMD-based edge appliance – which used an ageing Epyc processor. Hardly a great showing from AMD. Meanwhile, just one appliance from Inspur used an Arm-based chip from Nvidia.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022