HTC share trading will be halted pending an announcement as Google sale speculation mounts

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HTC has failed to keep up with rivals (Source: Getty)

Trading of shares in smartphone maker HTC will be halted pending an announcement, fuelling speculation of a sale.

The Taiwanese tech company has been exploring its options, according to recent reports, as it loses ground against giants Apple and Samsung as well as China upstarts like Xiaomi and Oppo.

A notice to the Taiwan stock exchange notified the now- closed market that trading of HTC stock will be halted "pending the release of material information".

It earlier issued a statement that it would not comment on rumours and speculation after suggestions that a deal was close with US tech giant Google.

Alphabet-owned Google is behind the Android operating system used by HTC, Samsung and others. It this year launched its first ever own-brand smartphone, the Pixel, which is made at HTC's factories.