The San Diego-based company aims to inflict pain on Apple in the world's largest market for smartphones and cut off production in a country where most iPhones are made.
Although China isn't Apple's most profitable country for iPhone sales, it is where the majority of the devices are manufactured.
"Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them", Qualcomm spokesperson Christine Trimble told Bloomberg. The lawsuit was filed in a Beijing intellectual property court, claiming infringement of three non-standard essential patents and seeking injunctive relief.
Qualcomm says the patents cover power management and a Force Touch technology used in current iPhones.
The gloves are coming off I'm the legit brawl between two major players in the smartphone industry: Qualcomm and Apple.