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In Broadcom-VMware Deal, All Eyes On APEC 2023 And Chinese President’s San Francisco Stop

O’Ryan Johnson

Multiple analysts have told CRN that the Chinese president’s stop will be closely watched amid US chip trade barriers. ‘Unless concessions are made on this restriction, the chances of a successful close appear to be very slim,’ says Forrester’s Tracy Woo.

The future of Broadcom and VMware’s $61 billion deal has become entangled with realpolitik of international trade relations as Beijing stands as the lone, regulatory holdout, meaning the acquisition’s chances of closing by the outside date are growing smaller, analysts told CRN.

“It is very likely the hold-up in China coincides with the new limitations the U.S. government put on China’s access to its advanced GPUs that are used to power AI applications,” Tracy Woo, principal analyst at market research firm Forrester, told CRN. “And unless concessions are made on this restriction, the chances of a successful close appear to be very slim.”

[RELATED: Broadcom Misses VMware Deal Closing Date, Pledges It Will Close ‘Soon]

As the pendulum swings closer to the deal’s Nov. 26 outside date when either Broadcom or VMware could walk away, all eyes with a stake in the acquisition are watching San Francisco as Chinese president Xi Jinping meets Wednesday with business leaders and politicians, including U.S. President Joseph Biden at APEC 2023.

Woo said there could be some progress made during the visit, but probably not as much as China would like.

“This meeting is a potential for small concessions though it doesn’t look like it will move the needle much,” she said.

A financial analyst who asked not to be named said money managers with stakes in VMware and Broadcom will be paying attention to Xi’s meetings with business leaders, and listening for signs that China is inclined to greenlight the merger. The analyst said any hope that politics wouldn’t be a factor in the deal evaporated when Beijing withheld its approval past Oct. 30. That was the date Broadcom CEO Hock Tan had picked 18 months ago as the close-by date.

China’s competition authority is the final regulatory hurdle that Broadcom must clear before it can complete the acquisition of the virtualization all-star.

It has 12 days left.

Here are five key things to keep in mind as the acquisition winds to a finale.

O’Ryan Johnson

O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners about how he can improve his coverage and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at

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