China delays Arm exit from joint venture

Arm China sale Image credit: Arm

Officials in China are slowing the transfer of Arm’s joint venture in the country to Arm’s parent company SoftBank, in a move that could hold up the Cambridge semiconductor company’s planned blockbuster public listing this year, according to the Financial Times.

Arm China, a joint venture in the country, agreed to a share transfer to Japan’s SoftBank last year. However, according to FT sources close to the matter, country officials are not processing the paperwork to move the Arm China shares.

“China does not want to lose Arm at this juncture,” a Chinese official supervising Arm China told the FT.

“The chip war between the US and China continues to escalate and Arm is a must-have ally for China’s chip industry.”

UKTN has contacted Softbank for further comment.

The share transfer of 47.33% of Arm China to SoftBank’s Vision Fund entity could even be reverted, the sources said.

When contacted by UKTN, Arm said: “The transfer of Arm Ltd shares of Arm China to the special purpose vehicle has been completed. No further comment at this time.”

“The Chinese government will do its utmost to deepen the linkages and relationships between Arm and the domestic semiconductor industry,” said the Chinese official.

Problems selling its China division come as the chip maker edges closer towards its long-anticipated IPO, which is expected to occur this year.

Last month the company posted its revenue had increased by 28% to £620m.

However, where the Cambridge company will list remains up in the air. Last month, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak continued lobbying efforts to encourage an Arm London IPO.