Chinese Shockwaves

Wall Street - and the storage industry - ride the ebb and flow of the global economy

March 2, 2007

2 Min Read
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8:15 AM -- I have never visited China, but the country on the other side of the world is looming ever larger in my day-to-day existence. (See Redrawing the Storage Map and Spam's Next Wave.)

Barely a day seems to go by at Byte and Switch Towers without some China-related press release landing in my inbox, as U.S. firms scramble to get a slice of one of the world's fastest growing technology markets. (See Panasas Adds Facility, Expands, Voltaire Expands Global Presence, Voltaire Opens China Office, Sepaton Reaches 500, PMC Opens in Shanghai, and Brocade, Bank Consolidate.)

At the same time, Chinese vendors, led by the likes of Huawei and Lenovo, look set to leave their mark on the Western technology market. (See China: Storage Superpower? and FalconStor Focuses on China.)

The realities of living in a truly global economy were apparent this week, when fears of an economic slowdown in China caused stocks to plummet across the world. From the Nasdaq to the Nikkei, share prices have tumbled amidst talk of a new capital gains tax in China.

Most storage vendors have seen their stocks run red over the last few days, although there are probably some anxious boardrooms amongst private firms, too.The first few months of this year have already seen some firms make their move into the public arena, with both Mellanox and Opnext opening strongly on their first day of trading. (See Mellanox Exceeds IPO Hopes, Opnext IPO Has Lots of Bandwidth, and Omneon Preps for $115M IPO.) This followed an active year for storage IPOs, with Riverbed, Isilon, CommVault, and Double-Take all taking the plunge. (See Double-Take, Isilon Go Public, Riverbed Comes Out at $9.75, and CommVault Swims in Public Pool.)

Whether other vendors will file their S-1s over the coming months remains to be seen. Events on the other side of the world have created a financial climate that is not exactly conducive to public offerings. (See IPO Talk Strikes Voltaire.) This proves once again, that China, both directly and indirectly, is fast becoming a major force in the technology market.

James Rogers, Senior Editor Byte and Switch

  • CommVault Systems Inc.

  • Isilon Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ISLN)

  • Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: MLNX)

  • Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.

  • Riverbed Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: RVBD)

  • Voltaire Inc.

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