Dell Expands in China With Venture Group, Creates AI Lab

  • Forms technology partnership with Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Company to spend more than $125 billion over five years

Dell Inc. is expanding in China by linking up with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to create an artificial intelligence lab, joining with local companies for technology development and allowing its venture capital firm to operate in the country.

Dell will create the lab with the scientific institute to develop advanced technology relating to cognitive systems and deep learning, the Round Rock, Texas-based company said Thursday in a statement. The maker of personal computers, software and data-center equipment has also signed a strategic partnership agreement with Kingsoft Corp. of Beijing to co-develop and sell products relating to big data and cloud computing.

“Dell will embrace the principle of ‘In China, for China’ and closely integrate Dell China strategies with national policies in order to support Chinese technological innovation, economic development and industrial transformation,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell said in the statement. The closely held company expects to spend more than $125 billion with Chinese suppliers over the next five years.

Rival Hewlett-Packard Co. revamped its China strategy over the past year, selling a majority stake in its local server, storage, and networking business to a group backed by Tsinghua University, as well as beginning to co-develop data-center servers with Foxconn Technology Group. Many enterprise technology companies see successfully navigating the Chinese market as an imperative as growth slows in established markets and new state-backed competitors emerge within the country.

Dell’s lead for the AI lab will be Mike Liu, Director, Great China Strategic Business Development.

Dell said it now directly employs about 8,000 people in China. The country is Dell’s second-largest market outside the U.S.

(An earlier version of this story corrected the Foxconn entity named in the fourth paragraph.)

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