A joint venture between Qualcomm Inc. and a unit of a telecommunications equipment group owned by the Chinese government — announced nearly a year ago — was approved this week by China's antitrust regulator, the Wall Street Journal reported May 4.

Following a meeting last year in Beijing in late May, Qualcomm and the telecoms equipment company, Datang Telecom Technology Co., announced the San Diego-based chip giant and Datang subsidiary Leadcore Technology Co. would jointly design chipsets for smartphones to sell to consumers in China.

Jianguang Asset Management Co. (JAC Capital) and Wise Road Capital would also participate in the venture, JLQ Technology, the companies said. At that time, the companies anticipated the JV would be finalized by year's end, pending approval by authorities.

The Journal cited "people familiar with the matter" as the source of its reporting on the deal's approval. Qualcomm didn't respond immediately to a request for comment on the report.

Also in the hands of China's antitrust regulators is the fate of Qualcomm's effort to acquire NXP Semiconductors NV, a Netherlands-based chip maker known for its automotive semiconductors, for more than $40 billion.

Closing that deal has been among Qualcomm's top priorities since it narrowly avoided acquisition by rival Broadcom Inc. in March. Broadcom's hostile bid was halted by President Donald Trump at the behest of a Treasury Department committee that reviews deals for national security implications.

But the Qualcomm-NXP deal appears to have been waylaid by rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Qualcomm and NXP recently extended their purchase agreement to July 25.

If regulatory approvals aren't granted by then, Qualcomm would end the merge effort and pay a $2 billion termination fee, Bloomberg has reported.

Reach reporter Sarah de Crescenzo at sarahd@sdbj.com.