Seagate, the world’s largest maker of disk drives, has dashed speculation that a Chinese firm wanted to buy the firm, saying it had received no such offer and had no intention of selling.
This month The New York Times, citing an interview with Chief Executive William Watkins, reported that a Chinese technology firm had made overtures to Seagate.
But the U.S. company said on Tuesday that Watkins had in fact merely referred to growing interest in disk drives technology from companies in China, Japan and Korea in concert with their respective governments, which had made disk drive storage “a national agenda.”
“In light of this, there were important public policy considerations that the United States government should be thinking about,” Seagate said.
“Just to be clear, Seagate has not received such an offer, and we are not trying to sell the company.”
The possibility had resurrected issues of competitiveness and national security similar to those raised three years ago when Chinese computer maker Lenovo bought IBM’s personal computer business, The New York Times said.
The paper had reported that Watkins did not identify the Chinese company, but that the possible acquisition had set off alarm bells at some government agencies. Seagate, based in Scotts Valley, California, has recently begun selling drives with hardware encryption abilities.
“The U.S. government is freaking out,” Watkins was quoted as saying by the newspaper, and added that Seagate was not for sale, but that if a high enough premium were offered to shareholders it would be difficult to stop.
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