Giant networking provider Cisco announced on Wednesday 17 June 2015 that it intends investing over $10 billion in China. This will ‘support local innovation, industrial transformation and economic growth through a series of strategic partnerships’. It ratchets up two decades of commitment to the Asian giant and echoes its slogan that ‘Tomorrow Starts Here’ everywhere Cisco goes.
Memorandum of Understanding to Ignite Talent
Cisco signed a MoU with a view to ensuring sufficient local skills to roll its networks out. This was with the Chinese Association of Universities of Applied Science of which the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) is a member). It hopes to advance the supply of information and communications technology talent in the world’s second most prosperous economy, through four-year programs at 100 universities.
Cisco Switches and Routers Support U.S. Initiatives
The availability of international-grade networks in China will please American companies like Apple, KFC and Trident. The Silicon Valley brand is also planning to piggyback on Chinese government initiatives to deliver more cloud-based services through its China Manufacturing 2015 and Internet+ initiatives.
Battle Between Cisco and Huawei Technology Heats Up
Cisco was quietly dropped from China’s procurement tender lists a few years ago and has been trying to work around the security controversies that have bedevilled its attempts to return. Its $10 billion sweetener will raise eyebrows at its main competitor Huawei Technology that has been likewise eyeing its turf.
Footnote: Feathers Fly in Academic Chicken Coop
Cisco is embroiled in a controversy with East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville. Until December 2014, the university considered it had exclusive rights to the slogan ‘Tomorrow Starts Here’. The university has asked the federal court to put a stop to Cisco challenging this. “We feel it is essential to take action to protect that defining trademark of our identity and vision,” said university chancellor Steve Ballard in a statement earlier this year. We will be following this spat with interest.