Great Wall to manufacture, sell IBM hard drives globally

Chinese technology firm Great Wall Technology will begin manufacturing IBM's new hard disk drives for the global market, and will also market them under its own brand name in a deal expected to heighten Big Blue's presence in China, the companies said Thursday.

Under the terms of the three-year agreement, Great Wall Technology subsidiary ExcelStor Technology Ltd. will manufacture the 40G-byte, 3.5-inch version of IBM's new Deskstar 120GXP desktop drive, which IBM will then sell worldwide. Through an intellectual-property license with IBM, the Chinese company will also develop and market the drives under its own brand name. The first ExcelStor drives are expected to roll off the assembly lines in the second half of 2002, the companies said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Along with providing IBM with a cost-efficient manufacturing base and a foothold in the Chinese market, the deal is also expected to create 3,000 jobs in the Shenzhen area of southern China, where the plant will be located, the companies said.

The deal is not the first collaboration between the two companies. IBM and Great Wall Technologies have also entered joint ventures in PC, electronic circuit card and storage product manufacturing through several Great Wall subsidiaries, the companies said.

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