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Huawei & Symantec Make It Official

Huawei and Symantec plan a China-based joint venture aimed at supplying security and storage appliances to carriers and enterprises worldwide. But it's not clear how much it will help Symantec's storage efforts.

Rumors of the deal surfaced last month, as reported in Byte and Switch. (See Huawei-Symantec JV Rumored.) The deal mirrors the one Huawei formed with 3Com in 2003, which resulted in the launch of H3C, the company reabsorbed by 3Com in April. (See On 3Com's Storage Trail.)

The new joint venture is expected to be finalized by the end of 2007. It will be headquartered in Chengdu, China. Huawei will own 51 percent; Symantec, 49 percent. Huawei's 750-odd employees, its IP, its hardware, and its influence with carriers in the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere will be opened to Symantec. In turn, Symantec will put $150 million into the new company.

The joint venture will market security and storage appliances, but it's not clear how the storage aspect will play out, or whose storage appliances are involved.

At first glance, it looks like Huawei's main goal is to use Symantec's security software for a fresh assault on telecom markets and enterprise customers.

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