vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Arm China boss goes rogue

by Mark Tyson on 30 July 2020, 12:21

Tags: ARM

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaenc6

Add to My Vault: x

Softbank owned Arm Ltd is experiencing some unusual corporate drama in China. According to a Bloomberg report, citing an Arm Ltd statement it received, the boss of Arm China is refusing to step down after being fired. Furthermore, the 'rogue boss', Allen Wu, has hired security guards to stop outside Arm execs visiting the premises, and isn't conducting business in Arm's interest.

Mr Wu is "propagating false information and creating a culture of fear and confusion among Arm China employees," a UK-based Arm Ltd representative said in a statement. "Allen's focus on his own self-preservation has also put China semiconductor innovation at risk as he has attempted to block the critical communication and support our China partners require from Arm for ongoing and future chip designs."

The problem with Wu seems to have originated earlier this year. In June, Arm China's board, which includes representatives from Arm Ltd and Chinese investors, decided to oust Wu after discovering he set up an investment firm competing with Arm business in China. Wu has refused to accept the decision and stays in control at the Arm China HQ in Shenzhen. One must understand that Wu has some leverage due to Chinese law and company registration, even though he is a US citizen. Wu holds the company's registration documents and the company seal, chop, or stamp - and he won't give this up at this time.

Another side to this argument

Arm China employees aren't happy about the unfolding situation either. An open letter signed by 176 employees and shared on China's WeChat, complains that directors of Arm Ltd and Hopu Investments have contacted Arm China's customers and threatened to modify or cancel existing contracts. Moreover, some staff say that they have individually received "threats and harassment," from those parties.

Softbank is currently pondering over the sale or public stock listing of Arm. Nvidia is said to be one of the parties interested in making a deal. However, this kind of corporate turmoil in China isn't a helpful background to negotiations and deals.

It is difficult to know how this situation will be resolved in the strategically important China operation with its main function of selling chip design licenses in the country. Both parties have asked Chinese regulators for support but will Chinese regulatory bodies step in to help resolve the situation either way? In the background, UK and China relations aren't very warm right now.



HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
This article makes me feel so sad about how an innovative British company has opened the door to an outflow of IP to another state. Yes, the investment from the Chinese parent company was good for Arm in the short term, but it'll just be another British company that has sold out and moved over to China in the long run adding to the brain drain of our most innovative companies.
MaddogPepper
This article makes me feel so sad about how an innovative British company has opened the door to an outflow of IP to another state. Yes, the investment from the Chinese parent company was good for Arm in the short term, but it'll just be another British company that has sold out and moved over to China in the long run adding to the brain drain of our most innovative companies.

Softbank is Japanese, and the whole point of ARM is to licence IP so I'm guessing they have the right controls in place.
The UK government didn't give a damn about ARM being 100% owned by Japan,and secondly the problem is the ARM Chinese division is 51% owned by local investors,so they can choose what CEO they want,even if ARM doesn't want them. Softbank already has started to split up ARM,ie,some of their IoT IP is being held back. So a familar thing is happening,another UK company being bought up,and then being split into multiple parts,and as usual unlike most countries,we are fine allowing this all the time. Japan OTH won't allow such things WRT to semi-conductors,and is actually scrutinising foreign share ownership more and more.

Apple did it to another UK company called Imagination Technologies,who are responsible for a lot of IP used in the graphics side of smartphone SOCs. Apple on purpose tried to bankrupt them by stopping all IP licensing,and hire away their engineers by opening up an office a few miles away in Cambridge. All to save on some licensing money. In the end they got bought up by a Chinese backed consortium in 2017. Apple went back to licensing Imagination Technologies stuff. Basically,whereas the rest of the world is trying to push more indigenous semi-conductor development,we are just letting go of some of the most important companies we have over here.
CAT-THE-FIFTH
The UK government didn't give a damn about ARM being 100% owned by Japan,and secondly the problem is the ARM Chinese division is 51% owned by local investors,so they can choose what CEO they want,even if ARM doesn't want them. Softbank already has started to split up ARM,ie,some of their IoT IP is being held back. So a familar thing is happening,another UK company being bought up,and then being split into multiple parts,and as usual unlike most countries,we are fine allowing this all the time. Japan OTH won't allow such things WRT to semi-conductors,and is actually scrutinising foreign share ownership more and more.

Apple did it to another UK company called Imagination Technologies,who are responsible for a lot of IP used in the graphics side of smartphone SOCs. Apple on purpose tried to bankrupt them by stopping all IP licensing,and hire away their engineers by opening up an office a few miles away in Cambridge. All to save on some licensing money. In the end they got bought up by a Chinese backed consortium in 2017. Apple went back to licensing Imagination Technologies stuff. Basically,whereas the rest of the world is trying to push more indigenous semi-conductor development,we are just letting go of some of the most important companies we have over here.

What Apple did was illegal, it has to be right?

I guess it'll be many years, once all the people who've made their cash from these scams are long gone and can't be touched.

They'll then settle for a pittance. It's nothing new, the rich / corporations don't need to obey the law. They just have to make sure they don't take the cash or investments from other rich, corrupt people in powerful positions.
The Rogue ARM of the law will be after him…

I truly apologise for my comment