Taiwanese smartphone vendor HTC announced Wednesday that it is suspending trading of its shares on the Taiwan market from Thursday, giving weight to rumors that it will soon sell its smartphone business to Alphabet's Google.
HTC is also setting up the public space on the second floor of its headquarters in Xindian, New Taipei, to prepare for a meeting with all staff members or an announcement of a major strategic move.
HTC is already a contract manufacturer of Google's Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) document that was disclosed earlier this year indicated that HTC has been making the Pixel 2, which Google is expected to begin selling later this year, further suggesting the close ties between the two companies.
HTC has not officially commented on the matter, and Google followed its usual policy not to comment "on market speculation."
The latest rumors point to HTC also producing the 2017 Pixel, though LG is expected to take over responsibility for building the second-gen Pixel XL.
However, it's not immediately obvious what Google would be acquiring from HTC. It could be just the smartphone business or just the Vive VR division, with a total takeover of the entire company presently being considered the less likely scenario.
Google plans to announce full details on its next Pixel smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL, at October 4th event.
At the same event, Google is also expected to showcase the Google Home Mini and the company's newest notebook (Google Pixelbook).