Qualcomm headquarters
Qualcomm’s headquarters in Sorrento Valley. Photo via Reuters

Facing objections from Chinese antitrust regulators, Qualcomm on Thursday withdrew and refiled its application for the $44 billion purchase of a Dutch semiconductor firm.

The move comes a day after the San Diego wireless pioneer informed the state of California that it planned layoffs of more than 50 employees in a cost-cutting move. No total number was released. The company employs 34,000 worldwide.

China’s Commerce Ministry told Qualcomm that a preliminary review of the planned acquisition NXP Semiconductors found “issues that are hard to resolve.”

Qualcomm said the two companies “at the request of the Ministry of Commerce in China have withdrawn and refiled the notice of acquisition regarding the companies’ planned combination.”

Financial analysts speculated that China’s action could be payback for President Trump’s threats of tariffs. Qualcomm already has European approval to proceed with the acquisition.

Qualcomm’s stock was trading around $53 on Thursday morning, down nearly 4 percent.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.