Qualcomm to invest $40M in Chinese tech companies

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego-based Qualcomm Friday announced that it and its subsidiaries have committed to invest $40 million into four Chinese technology companies and an investment firm that’s focused on China.

The provider of technology for mobile devices said it will invest in:
— 7Invensun, which is developing eye-tracking technology for medical and entertainment uses;
— Chukong Technologies, a mobile entertainment platform provider;
— inPlug, which makes devices and systems for smart homes;
— Unisound, which provides voice recognition and processing technology that can be used for appliances, mobile Internet, vehicle navigation, healthcare, and education; and
— the China Walden Venture Investments, L.P. fund, which puts money into semiconductor or semiconductor-related companies with business in China.

“Qualcomm is passionate about innovation and committed to helping advance the Chinese wireless industry,” said Nagraj Kashyap, senior vice president of Qualcomm Ventures, the company’s investment arm. “With a focus on semiconductors, mobile application enablers, smart home and healthcare, this group of startup companies closely complements existing products and services from Qualcomm Incorporated’s subsidiaries.”

Kashyap said Qualcomm would give financial, marketing, technology and business support to the companies.

Qualcomm has been embroiled in a couple of disputes in the Asian country recently, including an unresolved investigation by Chinese antitrust authorities.

The company, which announced earlier this week that it would cut its global workforce by about 600 jobs, said the issue has prevented the signing of new licensing deals.

Qualcomm also has accused some Chinese partners of under-reporting sales to reduce royalty payments.

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