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Business deals

Lenovo strengthens big data analysis with help of US partners

Chinese PC maker teams with NetApp and eyes further partnerships

Lenovo Group's quarterly sales from the data center business jumped 70% over a year.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Global personal computer manufacturer Lenovo Group aims to widen its footprint in China's data center business with help from U.S. tech companies, starting with Silicon Valley-based NetApp, to position itself in the growing field of big data.

Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yang Yuanqing and NetApp CEO George Kurian made an appearance on Sept. 26 on the opening day of Lenovo's Tech World expo in Beijing. Yang said Lenovo is bringing smart innovation to every sector, highlighting the company's push to expand big data solutions for corporate clients.

Earlier in September, Lenovo announced it would form a Chinese joint venture with NetApp, a cloud services provider. The new company will combine Lenovo's hardware and NetApp's data management technology. Lenovo will control 51% of the venture, with NetApp taking the rest.

The Chinese company raked in sales of $1.6 billion in its data center business during the April-June quarter. Though that amounts to barely more than 10% of group sales, it represents an almost 70% increase from a year earlier. The company is also pouring resources into building supercomputers for research, made possible by its purchase of IBM operations in 2005.

Yang also said on Sept. 26 that the company aims to form partnerships with other big-name U.S. tech companies such as Intel, Microsoft, Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Google. Tie-ups with Chinese tech juggernauts Baidu and Tencent Holdings are also on the table, he said.

Lenovo's list of potential U.S. partners is long even as Washington and Beijing engage in an escalating trade war. Though critics say Yang's approach is too cozy with America, the CEO has indicated he will focus on what's best for clients. The company maintains dual headquarters in China and the U.S.

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