SoftBank's Arm says China joint venture replaces CEO

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp-owned chip technology firm Arm Ltd said on Wednesday the chief executive officer of its China joint venture, Allen Wu, has stepped down and been replaced.

Arm Ltd said Arm China’s board of directors has appointed Ken Phua and Phil Tang as Arm China’s interim co-CEOs to replace Wu, who headed the joint venture as chairman and CEO.

Arm China is a Shanghai-based joint venture between British chip designer Arm Ltd and Chinese private equity firm Hopu Investments.

Wu did not immediately respond to a message sent to his LinkedIn account.

Joe Zeng, managing director of Hopu’s Arm Innovation Fund and a member of Arm China’s supervisory board, said in a statement the fund remains “confident in Arm China’s progress, and we are glad to see Arm’s continuous commitment and support to the China market.”

Arm China, which generates revenue by licensing chip architecture to Chinese companies, was established in 2018 when SoftBank sold a 51% stake in Arm Ltd’s Chinese subsidiary, Arm Technology (China) Co Ltd, to a group of Chinese investors. SoftBank acquired Arm in 2016 for $32 billion.

The personnel change comes as the United States and China remain caught in a spat over technology. Last month, the Department of Commerce placed additional restrictions on smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] that would prevent certain American companies from supplying to it.

Last October, the British company said it would continue to supply its designs to Huawei after ruling they did not breach U.S. rules.

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