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Huawei buys Symantec JV stake for $530m

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Huawei is buying Symantec's 49 per cent share in their joint venture for $530m.

The two companies teamed up in 2008 to sell security and storage technologies but it has become common knowledge in recent months that their Hong-Kong headquarted JV was to be dissolved or bought by one or the other partner. Symantec wanted to learn about appliances and enter the Chinese market. Huawei needed help in penetrating Western markets. Both missions have been accomplished.

We can speculate that Huawei wanted to control its own destiny in the USA and other JV markets rather more than Symantec wanted to control its own China market destiny. But then Huawei plays a long, long game and is not subject to the short-term quarterly earnings pressures of western companies.

The companies are confident they can progress in their target markets well enough on their own. Whether Huawei will rebrand Huawei Symantec is not specified in the two company's joint statement but we expect it will, and that Huawei will then sell IT products into the somewhat xenophobic US market, at least where China is concerned, on its own.

The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. ®

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