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What happened: President Xi Jinping said he would be willing to consider approving U.S. chip-maker Qualcomm's once-failed $44 billion bid for NXP Semiconductors if the option were presented to him again, according to the White House.

President Trump, who met with Chinese President Xi Jinping over the weekend, said: "If that deal came back to [Xi], he would most likely approve it quickly, which is a big thing". After the talks, the Chinese government said it is "open to approving the previously unapproved" Qualcomm - NXP deal, "should it again be presented".

Last summer, American chipmaker Qualcomm and its closest rival NXP have been cooking up a merger deal.

Qualcomm had been trying to acquire NXP, best known for its semiconductor work in self-driving cars, for more than two years, but missed a deadline to confirm its continued interest in the deal after months of delays from Beijing and paid NXP $2 billion to terminate the transaction. "Qualcomm considers the matter closed".

However, the Chinese government's official statement, released following the talks, did not mention any discussion of the Qualcomm deal.

According to reports, Qualcomm and NXP have been patiently waiting for two years to win the regulatory approval from China.

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China's foreign ministry declined to comment on Qualcomm during a regular media briefing on Monday.

By allowing the Qualcomm deal to run itself out, Beijing was seen to be flexing its economic muscles while retaining negotiating power with a Trump administration that has threatened to slap tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports.

Qualcomm moved ahead with a stock buyback of about $30 billion that it had promised shareholders should the NXP deal fall apart. Now, chip companies may be more optimistic about their regulatory chances in China. Xilinx is now vying to acquire Israeli chip maker Mellanox Technologies after it made a decision to run an auction to sell itself, according to people familiar with the matter. Mellanox did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Qualcomm scrapped its proposed $44 billion bid for rival chip-maker NXP in July after an nearly two-year wait for approval, as tensions between the US and China escalated.

USA lawmakers also passed reforms earlier this year that increased CFIUS' scrutiny of deals.