EMC, Lenovo Going After Multibillion Dollar, Post-PC China Market

EMC is a bear of a company to get your arms around. So let’s throw in another big global company, plus the world’s most populous country, and see where that gets us.

Yes, Hopkinton, MA-based data storage giant EMC (NYSE: EMC) announced yesterday a far-ranging partnership with personal-computer maker Lenovo (HKSE: LNVGY), which has dual headquarters in Beijing, China, and Morrisville, NC. The upshot of the multi-year deal is that the companies will work together to develop and sell servers and storage systems through their respective channels and in their respective markets—in particular, China for Lenovo. EMC and Lenovo also have set up a joint venture, based in various locations around the world, to develop network attached storage technology for small and medium-size businesses.

No financial details or headcounts were given, but Lenovo chairman and CEO Yuanqing Yang said in a press conference that the total value of the partnership would be measured in “billions” of dollars, not millions, over the coming years. The conference in Beijing (see photo above) also included EMC’s chief executive Joe Tucci and president Pat Gelsinger, who will become VMware’s CEO next month.

The deal seems to help EMC expand its presence in China—and sell more storage products to a huge potential market—while it also helps Lenovo move further beyond its PC business into networking and storage. “It’s a symbiotic relationship,” says Rod Mathews, EMC’s senior director of business development. “We’re really excited about the server development program.” He adds, “We’re strong in different areas. We have complementary ways to attack this market.” (Mathews came to EMC through its acquisition of Data Domain; before that he was a veteran of NetApp.)

And EMC is no stranger to China. The 55,000-employee firm has invested more than $1 billion in the Chinese market since 2007. In the last quarter, EMC’s revenue in the Asia-Pacific region was $748 million—14 percent of the company’s total revenue—and that represented an all-time high. (The company doesn’t break out its China revenue publicly.) Together, EMC and its affiliated virtualization software firm VMware have more than 3,500 employees in China, … Next Page »

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