"I was happy to see it," Mollenkopf said at The Deal's Corporate Governance 2018: Understanding the Changing Agenda in New York on Thursday. The implication is that resolving the dispute with ZTE could prompt Chinese regulators to clear Qualcomm's purchase of NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI) .
"It's good for business, its good for our business," he added, improving relations between the U.S. and China.
TheStreet Founder Jim Cramer interviewed Mollenkopf, in a conversation that ranged from NXP deal to Broadcom Corp.'s (AVGO) hostile takeover attempt, 5G wireless technology and a running IP battle with Apple Inc. (AAPL) .
Qualcomm announced the $39 billion purchase of NXP in October 2016, and boosted the offer to about $45 billion in February 2018 after agitation from Paul Singer's Elliott Management. The chipmaker is still working on approval from regulators in China.
"We're very comfortable with the deals that we've put forth," Mollenkopf said. "We would love to have had it happen quicker."
Qualcomm fended off a hostile takeover bid from Hock Tan's Broadcom earlier this year, with help from Washington. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. and President Trump gave Mollenkopf an assist in March. The government cited concerns about maintaining leadership in wireless technology if Broadcom broke off pieces of the company.
"The takeaway that I had from that was the speed at which things happened," Mollenkopf said of the government's action.
Meanwhile, a deposition of Apple CEO Tim Cook is approaching in companies' legal battle over royalties.
"People make too much out of any individual legal milestone, including that one," Mollenkopf said of the potential for the companies to reach a deal.
Finally, 5G wireless technology poses an opportunity for Qualcomm.
"We make technology bets that create ecosystems like 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G and there will be another G," he said. "Those transitions tend to be very good events for the industry and for our shareholders."
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