A Qualcomm sign
A Qualcomm sign in front of one of its many buildings in San Diego. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A respected Asian newspaper is reporting that China has approved Qualcomm‘s purchase of NXP Semiconductors, removing a major element of uncertainty in the San Diego company’s strategy.

The South China Morning Post, an English-language daily based in Hong Kong, said Friday the deal has been cleared by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, allowing the $44 billion takeover to proceed.

Antitrust regulators from the United States and eight other nations had been required to sign off on the merger and only China remained after months of negotiations.

The Dutch chipmaker is a leader in automotive electronics, a market that Qualcomm is seeking to enter as cars become increasingly electronic.

The Chinese decision comes after President Trump agreed to remove sanctions on smartphone maker ZTE but before the expected imposition of tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Qualcomm stock was up nearly 3 percent to over $61 in after-hours trading following the news.

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