TAIPEI, Taiwan (TheStreet) -- It's easy to forget in the context of China's global economic magnetism that a Communist party bent on long-term survival has run the country for 65 years. Per doctrine, a Communist state must periodically accuse foreigners of aggression to retain support, casting its own people as victims who should rally around their ethnic kin in power.
China once went after just foreign countries such as the United States. But the rise of multinational companies based offshore has added new propaganda punching bags as China tries to inspire growth in domestic private business.
Take, for example, American microchip maker Qualcomm (QCOM) .
China's not calling the company a foreign imperialist power. But a yearlong investigation of Qualcomm's business practices, possibly over now with stiff punishments on the way, has a storybook quality that could incite revolutionary vigor among China's peasant-class startups.
For investors wondering about Qualcomm's shares on Nasdaq, let's cut first to the story's likely end: The foreign force meekly takes China's heat, a lot of it in this case, but then stays in the huge market because it pays -- just less than before any fines and new restrictions.
Qualcomm shares already went up in early December after reports that the probe would soon end, showing confidence in its survival in China long term. A week later, Qualcomm said it had committed to investing $40 million in four Chinese tech firms and a venture-capital firm.
Jumping back to the middle of the story, state-run newspaper China Daily says Qualcomm's cross-licensing agreement "has been considered an unfair deal" because it gave the company rights to the patents of Chinese smartphone producers that use its chips. The smartphone companies can't in turn charge patent fees to Qualcomm's customers, the paper says.
This analysis doesn't speak about what Qualcomm did or didn't do, or should or shouldn't have done. Qualcomm declined comment.