The completion of its $ 1.1 billion deal to buy a large slice of HTC’s hardware business, was announced by Google.
While the announcement of acquisition was done in September of 2017, the requisite approvals have been passed now and the deal has been finalized. Along with the transfer of one-fifth of HTC’s engineering team (approximately 2,000 engineers), Google will also receive a non-exclusive license for HTC’s Intellectual rights. HTC confirmed last year that it will be retaining its Vive VR division and will continue to make its own smartphones.
Most prominently, by handling a portion of HTC’s own smartphone development team, many of whom worked on Google’s Pixel hardware (which was outsourced to HTC), the deal boosts Google’s hardware game significantly. And while other HTC devices were much lauded, they didn’t sell in high volumes.
Secondly, it gives Google a vast new engineering base in Taipei, Taiwan, where HTC is located. For Google, that makes the location the largest engineering site for itself and going forward it is likely to be the source of new products from the company.
“I’m delighted that we’ve officially closed our deal with HTC, and are welcoming an incredibly talented team to work on even better and more innovative products in the years to come,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior VP of hardware, wrote in a blog post.
“These new colleagues bring decades of experience achieving a series of “firsts” particularly in the smartphone industry—including bringing to market the first 3G smartphone in 2005, the first touch-centric phone in 2007, and the first all-metal unibody phone in 2013,” Osterloh added.
The closure of the deal marks another notable development for Google’s business in Asia in recent months.
Google announced its plans to open it’s first AI lab based in China in Beijing. It is also opening a basen the Chinese city seen as the world’s ‘Silicon Valley of Hardware’- Shenzhen. Google has also invested money into Chinese streaming service- Chushou, U.S.-Chinese biotech firm- XtalPi, which uses AI and machine learning to help design drugs, and Indonesian ride-hailing service: Go-Jek.
It has also struck a key alliance with Tencent, the $500 billion Chinese giant making moves in the U.S. and other global markets, after the duo agreed to a broad patent licensing deal. That’s a relationship to watch as Google advances its hardware and Asia business play.
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