The Cost of Doing Business With China? A $40,000 Dinner With Xi Jinping Might Be Just the Start


Updated Nov. 28, 2023 12:17 am ET

Broadcom Chief Executive Hock Tan shelled out $40,000 to sit at Xi Jinping’s table for the Chinese leader’s recent dinner in San Francisco with the heads of American businesses. Tan had a lot more at stake—a $69 billion deal he was waiting on China to approve.

For months, Chinese regulators wouldn’t clear the U.S. chipmaker’s bid to buy enterprise software developer VMware, leading Broadcom to put off its date for completion of the deal—first announced in May 2022—three times. Beijing had held up previous mergers involving U.S. companies. Intel’s planned acquisition of Israeli firm Tower Semiconductor, for more than $5 billion, was scuttled in August after Chinese regulators failed to approve it.

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