ZTE is reportedly in talks with Samsung about using the South Korean electronics giant’s mobile chips in its smartphones.
The report from Reuters, which spoke with Samsung subsidiary System LSI chief Inyup Kang, comes as the Chinese smartphone maker attempts to overcome a ban on technology imported from the U.S.
ZTE, meanwhile, is just one of several companies currently talking with Samsung about mobile chips, the report added.
Samsung currently makes mobile processor chips for the company’s own Galaxy smartphones and a single external partner — Meizu, also based in China — but Kang told Reuters he expects to announce an additional partner in the first half of 2019.
Samsung’s massive semiconductor business relies mainly on memory chips, but Reuters noted the conglomerate expanded its logic chips operations in hopes of diversifying the business. The move, however, also appears likely to increase competition with U.S. chip giant Qualcomm — where Kang formerly served as an executive.