Arm China boss happy with Nvidia acquisition collapse

Plus: Rogue CEO's outfit could derail public listing


Allen Wu, chairman and CEO of Arm's Chinese joint-venture Arm China, thinks the collapse of Nvidia’s attempt to buy Arm will be better for the worldwide technology industry – and for China.

In an interview with Xiamen-based JW Insights published at the weekend, Wu highlighted that Arm's fate will affect all of its licensees and manufacturers associated with it in the supply chain. He therefore welcomed the plan devised by Arm's owner, Japan's SoftBank, to float the processor design house on the stock market because that will apparently safeguard its independence and future.

Wu's remarks also betrayed some self-interest, because he suggested an independent, publicly listed Arm would be "more suitable for the Chinese industry."

The CEO went on to muse about whether it is possible for large tech firms to engage in mergers and acquisitions with their peers or rivals, and concluded that such transactions have become so complex they're unlikely to satisfy regulators around the world. Wu's preferred alternative is alliances based on licensing intellectual property – just as Arm did when establishing Arm China.

At this point The Register must remind readers that in 2020 Wu was fired from Arm China by Arm, though he refused to go. As Arm China is minority-owned by Arm, and with certain official documents in his possession, Wu was able to retain his position. Arm, last time we checked, still wants Wu removed and was working with Beijing to achieve that.

As one industry watcher put it last year, Arm China is "completely rogue," and acts as an independent company that pursues its own R&D agenda – sometimes even exploring non-Arm technology.

Arm, for its part, claimed it has a "successful working relationship" with Arm China. The Register will keep an eye out for the UK chip designer's stock-market prospectus – it will surely have something to say on this saga, as it's just the kind of thing potential shareholders will want to ponder before setting aside their hard-earned for some scrip.

Arm China contributes or is linked to as much as one fifth of Arm's worldwide revenues, it's reported, and thus if the tangled nature of the two organizations cannot be resolved, that could derail Arm's chances of a successful public listing, analysts think. ®

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