(Reuters): Hewlett-Packard Co, the world’s No.1 PC maker, is investing heavily in China and plans to develop cloud-computing products here to sell globally, Chief Executive Leo Apotheker said.
This week, HP opened a cloud computing centre in the port city of Tianjin, announced a server computer networking and development centre in Beijing and said its Personal Systems Group will establish a China headquarters in Shanghai to develop hardware and Internet products.
“China is not only a huge market, it’s also a great place to develop products and develop R&D,” Apotheker said at a news conference in Beijing.
“Ultimately, we intend for HP to become the centre of the cloud and connectivity,” he said.
Cloud computing refers to users of computers, smartphones and other devices accessing programmes and files kept on server computers rather than installed on individual PCs.
The concept is gaining attention as PC makers contemplate making PCs and other linked devices portals to information and content stored elsewhere.
Apotheker is leading a group of some 20 senior HP executives on a visit to China after a recent management reorganisation that put emphasis on developing market share in China and India.
Both countries are crucial to HP, as it duels with Dell Inc in North America and Lenovo Group Ltd. and Taiwan’s Acer Inc. in China.
Apotheker said a dispute with Oracle Corp over Intel Corp’s Itanium microprocessor for servers would not have any impact on its partnerships.
HP and Oracle became intense rivals after Oracle’s purchase of Sun Microsystems pushed it firmly into the server hardware market, in which it previously cooperated with HP.
Oracle said it will end development of database software for Itanium systems, and HP filed a lawsuit to try to force Oracle to continue developing such products.
Both Intel and HP have insisted they are committed to customers who have invested in HP-Itanium systems, a position Apotheker repeated on Wednesday.
“They have a 10-year roadmap,” Apotheker said, referring to Intel’s commitment to Itanium. “And HP is committed to keep our promises to our customers.”