Cisco, China's Haier in home networking deal

Cisco enters a partnership with Chinese white-goods maker Haier.

Cisco Systems has entered into a partnership with Haier, the largest manufacturer of large home appliances in China, that will allow the companies to work together on a number of projects, including information infrastructure and home-networking systems.

The partnership, announced Tuesday, will also give the companies the opportunity to share best practices in areas such as investments and financial management and controls, Cisco said in a news release. The two companies will work together on a "broad range" of projects in China and other markets outside the U.S., Cisco said.

A Cisco spokesman in the U.S. declined to answer questions about the deal, saying Cisco had "no further details to share at this point."

Haier, the fourth-largest "white-goods" manufacturer worldwide, is working to expand its brand outside China, Cisco said. Haier, with about 50,000 employees, has entered the networked appliance market in the past two years.

Haier is a Cisco customer in China

Haier believes it is "necessary to take advantage of Cisco's business practices as a model for efficient international expansion," particularly in network-reliant areas such as customer service, Zhang Ruimin, Haier's CEO, said in a statement.

Cisco will share its experience in using networking technologies to improve corporate competitiveness, added Thomas Lam, president of Cisco China.

At a conference earlier this month, Cisco officials suggested that the company plans to focus more of its efforts on the consumer market. The company also sees opportunity in developing countries, officials said.

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Grant Gross

IDG News Service

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