Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) and Unisplendour Corporation Limited (Unis) (SZSE: 000938) under Unigroup today celebrated the anticipated launch of their previously announced joint venture, which will be called Unis-WDC Storage Co., Ltd. (UNIS WDC). The new company is owned 51 percent by Unis and 49 percent by Western Digital. UNIS WDC will market and sell Western Digital's datacenter storage systems, including its HGST Active Archive system, in China. The joint venture company will also invest in the development of new products and enhancements to Western Digital's products to create innovative solutions that address the evolving needs of the big data market in China. UNIS WDC will maintain corporate headquarters and R&D operations in Nanjing and a sales and marketing office in Beijing.
UNIS WDC will host a celebratory event today at Nanjing Dongjiao State Guest House. Guests include Xie Zhicheng, Deputy Mayor of Nanjing; Weiguo Zhao, Chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup; Steve Milligan, Chief Executive Officer of Western Digital; and Qi Lian, Chief President of Tsinghua Unigroup. Zhang Lei, who has been identified to serve as Chairman of UNIS WDC; and Gary Miao, who has been identified to become Chief Executive Officer of UNIS WDC.
"Independent Innovation + International Cooperation"
Adhering to China's development principle of "independent innovation + international cooperation," UNIS WDC will aim to become "the strategic partner to China's big data industry." UNIS WDC is a critical part of Unigroup in its industry coverage "from chip to cloud." By combining the leading research and development, design, production and market promotion strengths of Unigroup and Western Digital, UNIS WDC will offer customized big data storage solutions for the China market.
Unisplendour Corporation Limited of Unigroup holds a majority of the shares of UNIS WDC. Unigroup is focused on expanding its capabilities across core areas of the information technology industry, including semiconductors, mobile interconnect, cloud computing and cloud services. "As a Chinese enterprise, Unigroup is focused on executing its information technology development strategy, of which UNIS WDC is a critical part. UNIS WDC will adhere to the concept of independent innovation and international cooperation to drive new applications for big data storage in government and local industries. It will focus on data storage, analytics, security and privacy protection to improve and expand the big data industry ecosystem in China," said Weiguo Zhao, Chairman of Tsinghua Unigroup.
Western Digital is the foreign investor of UNIS WDC. The company's innovative storage solutions that provide customers with high capacity, flexibility and speed are at the heart of many of the world's largest datacenters and embedded in advanced smartphones, tablets and PCs. Western Digital completed the acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies in March 2012. The combination created the world's largest hard disk drive company with a leading technology capability and broad product portfolio. In May of 2016, Western Digital acquired SanDisk Corporation to accelerate its expansion in flash storage and become the world's largest storage solutions provider. Western Digital is headquartered in Irvine, California, USA.
"As Western Digital continues to expand our investments in high-growth markets such as China, partnerships with growth-oriented companies, such as Unisplendour Corporation, and local governments are critically important," said Western Digital Chief Executive Officer Steve Milligan. "When launched later this year, UNIS WDC will deliver advanced datacenter storage solutions to customers in this dynamic market."
Strategic Partner to China's Big Data Industry
According to IDC, global data generation is estimated to be doubling approximately every two years. In addition, organizations focused on leveraging the huge data sets they manage with advanced big data computing and analytical technologies, which are estimated to represent a $32.4 billion market, growing at 27 percent annually. IDC believes the data storage market as a part of big data will experience 53 percent annual growth. UNIS WDC is designed to help organizations manage the volume, velocity and variety of data that is transforming the IT landscape and supporting storage ecosystem.
Big data has become a driving force for social development and industry progress. As information technology continues to develop, the demand for big data storage and applications across all industries has become increasingly important. China has established a national information industry development strategy outline for the next ten years to build advanced core technical systems and accelerate progress in targeted areas, including data storage.
UNIS WDC will work with Chinese enterprises to customize big data storage solutions that deliver significant business advantages for customers in a range of industries, including financial services, media and entertainment, astronomy and meteorology, telecommunications, genetic science and healthcare.
"UNIS WDC aims to become the leader in comprehensive, secure and controllable core big data storage technologies. We will practice the 'ingenious R&D' concept, focusing on data reliability and maximizing data security for our customers. UNIS WDC will deliver innovation and optimization by following the standardization principle. By leveraging existing, leading resources, the company will offer data service solutions tailored to meet the needs of the China market. We will work with partners to build a win-win ecosystem and help drive innovation and growth of the big data industry in China. Create the future with data!" said Gary Miao, who has been identified to become Chief Executive Officer of UNIS WDC.
About Western Digital
Founded in 1970, Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC), Irvine, Calif., is an industry-leading developer and manufacturer of storage solutions that enable people to create, manage, experience and preserve digital content. It is a long-time innovator in the storage industry. Western Digital Corporation is responding to changing market needs by providing a full portfolio of compelling, high-quality storage products with effective technology deployment, high efficiency, flexibility and speed. Its products are marketed under the HGST and WD brands to OEMs, distributors, resellers, cloud infrastructure providers and consumers. Financial and investor information is available on the company's Investor Relations website at investor.wdc.com.
As a leading information technology company in China, Unisplendour Corporation Limited (Unis, 000938.SZ) is dedicated to research, development, production, sales and service of IT products and solutions. Centered by its "cloud-network-endpoint" strategy, Unis' business has covered a broad range from servers, storage, networking equipment to IT service, application development and system integration, and is expanding to cloud computing, mobile Internet and Big Data processing.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include those concerning the offerings and anticipated benefits of the joint venture with Unis and the timing of its commencement of operations. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, including: the possibility that the joint venture may not commence operations within the anticipated timeframe; the expected benefits of the joint venture may not materialize as expected; volatility in global economic conditions; business conditions and growth in the storage ecosystem; pricing trends and fluctuations in average selling prices; the availability and cost of commodity materials and specialized product components; unexpected advances in competing technologies; the development and introduction of products based on new technologies and expansion into new data storage markets; actions by competitors; and other risks and uncertainties in Western Digital's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Western Digital's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on Aug. 29, 2016. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and neither Western Digital nor Unis undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.