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Western Digital enters joint venture to sell its disk arrays in China

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November 9, 2015

Following Unisplendourís intended $3.8 billion investment in Western Digital last week, the two firms are forming a joint venture to sell Western Digitalís data centre disk arrays in China.

According to IT industry analyst Aaron Rakers, this new joint venture will be 49 percent owned by Western Digital and 51 percent by Unisplendour.

The new partnership will be based in China and should become fully operational by the second quarter next year.

The new disk array in question is HGST's Active Archive system. The Unisplendour investment in Western Digital has to be authorized CFIUS, the U.S. Treasury Departmentís Committee on Foreign Investment.

It is hoped that this will occur by April or May of next year. Unisplendour is owned by the Tsinghua Unigroup, which is involved with Chinaís memory chip-making ambitions.

Rakers points out that Unisplendour acquired a 51 percent interest in an HP Enterprise business called H3C back in May of this year.

This is HPís China-based server, storage and technology services operation. It was a Huawei/3-Com joint venture set up twelve years ago to sell networking equipment in China.

Huaweiís original interest was acquired by 3-Com in 2007, and then HP acquired 3-Com two years later.

HP subsequently intended to sell its 3 Com business but the joint venture carries on HPís interest. Unisplendour paid $2.3 billion for its 51 percent stake in the new joint venture.

Unisplendour's parent, Tsinghua Unigroup, is becoming a bit of a powerhouse in the Chinese storage industry.

Intel, Western Digital and HP are now all involved with it. As for Western Digital, there may be some opportunities to add SanDisk's all-flash IntelliFlash array to the joint venrure's product portfolio.

Source: Western Digital.

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