Qualcomm chief Steve Mollenkopf (pictured) argued the company’s technology roadmap is strong enough to allow it to thrive, regardless of whether it closes a long-pending deal to acquire chip company NXP Semiconductors by a 25 July deadline.

The deal, which was announced in October 2016, secured approval from eight of nine regulatory bodies, but has been stuck for months in review in China during escalating trade tensions with the US.

Qualcomm was reportedly “cautiously optimistic” China would clear the deal after the US agreed to lift a trade ban on Chinese vendor ZTE. However, a US decision to levy another round of tariffs on $50 billion-worth of Chinese goods muddied the waters once again.

In an interview with The New York Times, Mollenkopf said the company would still like to see the deal approved, but noted Qualcomm has limited influence on the final outcome.

However, he added Qualcomm would still have the means to “create value in different ways” even if the deal doesn’t close, pointing to 5G as a key part of the company’s future.

Other avenues
While the NXP deal was meant to help Qualcomm diversify its business beyond its core smartphone segment, the company pursued the same end through other partnerships in the meantime.

At CES 2018, Qualcomm announced smart home deals with Google, Amazon and Microsoft involving their respective virtual assistants; and also unveiled work with automotive companies Jaguar Land Rover, Honda and BYD on infotainment solutions.

It followed up with the debut of a cellular IoT software development kit at MWC in February, and a new family of IoT chips in April.

Qualcomm executives said in January the automotive, IoT, networking and RF front end segments represented a $77 billion opportunity for the company.

If the NXP deal doesn’t close by 25 July, Mollenkopf said Qualcomm will move forward with a $20 billion to $30 billion stock buyback to boost its stock price.

Qualcomm will also owe NXP a $2 billion breakup fee if the transaction isn’t completed.