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Inspur's strategy in US: Partner with competitors

By Lia Zhu and Chang Jun in Seattle (China Daily USA)

Updated: 2015-09-23 11:24:00


Inspur Group Co, Ltd., a major Chinese server maker, is expanding its business in the US market, both as a partner and a competitor.

Since it first entered the US in 2004, the Shandong-based company has established strategic partnerships with key IT giants, including Intel, Microsoft and IBM.

In 2005, Microsoft injected $25 million into Inspur, taking a 15.51 percent stake. In 2014, IBM and Inspur collaborated to develop a new hardware system with IBM supplying software, processors, chips and support. Earlier that year, Inspur also became a member of IBM's OpenPower Foundation, an alliance dedicated to developing Power Chip architecture.

Inspur is currently exploring a possible partnership with Cisco.

"The US companies have the desire to expand their presence in China, too. A partnership benefits both sides, enhances innovation capacity and achieves a win-win situation," Sun Pishu, Inspur's chairman and CEO, told China Daily.

Through the partnership with Cisco, Inspur hopes to accelerate its R&D process and strengthen its internet technologies.

At the same time, Inspur is seen as a competitor of its partners, including IBM, with its self-developed Unix server.

Inspur has set up two R&D centers in the US - one in Seattle and the other in Silicon Valley. An assembly factory in Silicon Valley is expected to produce more than 200,000 units of cloud technology devices annually for the US market.

The US and China are the world's largest markets for IT technologies and the increasing demand as well as China's rapid development in the area make it possible to take part in the competition in the US market, according to Sun.

"Inspur is less known in the US retail market, but brand is not everything in the Internet market," said Sun. "Products, innovation and cutting-edge technologies speak volumes. Inspur's products have been well-tested in the Chinese market by major companies like Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent.

"The experience we accumulated in China will help us greatly in the US," he said.

Sun said that in the past they would not even have thought of challenging those IT giants, let alone compete with them on their home turf.

Through its 70-year history, Inspur has witnessed China's development in IT technologies.

In 1983, Inspur's predecessor, Shandong Electronic Equipment Factory, developed China's first microcomputer, marking a new starting point in the country's IT development.

In 1993, technicians of Inspur, led by Sun, developed China's first micro-server in Singapore. Ever since 1996, Inspur servers have ranked first in China's domestic market.

Inspur servers broke the world record in commercial intelligent TCP-H in 2004, marking the first time a Chinese server had broken the world record. So far, Inspur servers have set world records six times in a row.

Contact the writers at liazhu@chinadailyusa.com or junechang@chinadailyusa.com.

Inspur's strategy in US: Partner with competitors

Sun Pishu Provided to China Daily

(China Daily USA 09/23/2015 page4)