Qualcomm still keen on Korea

Qualcomm has indicated that it is still interested in investing in R&D operation in South Korea, despite being hit with a €146 million fine by the local regulator.

Speaking to the Korea Times, Qualcomm Korea president Cha Young-koo, said the vendor’s  relationships with Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics would only evolve as demand for its chips over a broader range of devices grows.

He said Korea’s advanced mobile industry was a potential source for innovation, and Qualcomm was considering setting up a research center.  It already has an R&D center in China but will decide by the end of the year whether it needs another one in Asia. Either Korea or India was the most likely location, the president said.  

Korean universities are also being considered by the vendor for JV research projects principally on new technologies for multimedia software and applications.

If the Korean R&D center goes ahead it would  be fully operating by 2011, Cha said.

“We are in the process of receiving proposals from the schools, and we will have a blueprint in the next few months on what the Korean R&D would be devoted to. The Gyeonggi provincial government has also expressed an interest,” Cha told the Korea Times.

Last week Korea's Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) fined Qualcomm a record € 146 million (260 billion won) for anticompetitive behavior.

The KFTC found that Qualcomm charged higher CDMA royalties on companies that used chips supplied by competitors. Qualcomm also provided clients with discounts for using its own chips, the commission said following a three-year investigation.