Seagate is eyeing opportunities in eastern data computing and western

The Seagate Pavilion is seen during a trade fair in Shanghai. The US-listed data storage company is the only international hard disk manufacturer with a production base in China. Jin Rong / China Daily

US-listed data storage company Seagate Technology sees significant opportunities from China’s Eastern Data-West Computing Project and is committed to providing affordable, environmentally friendly solutions to help local telecom operators and Internet companies better store data.

The East-Data-West Computing Project refers to sending data collected from the more prosperous eastern regions of China to the less developed but resource-rich western regions for storage, computation and feedback, as well as establishing more data centers in western China, which can help The state is working on improving the imbalance in digital infrastructure planning and maximizing the value of data as an element of production, experts said.

Sandy Sun, Senior Vice President and General Manager for China at Seagate Technology, said the East Data-West Computing project, which was officially unveiled in March this year, will be an impetus for the development of the data economy.

“We really felt energized. Since the project was announced, we have seen clear investment strategies from our customers. Telecom operators, for example, are growing very fast, already among the top five of our customers, spending significant amounts on data center storage products and solutions.”

China’s investment in big data centers is expected to grow more than 20 percent annually during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), and cumulative investment in related fields is set to exceed 3 trillion yuan ($444 billion), according to the report. To be signed by the National Development and Reform Commission.

“The development of massive data centers will drive investment in upstream and downstream industries such as research and development, manufacturing of information technologies (and related products), communications networks and energy,” said Sun Wei, deputy director of the Department of Innovation and High-Tech Development at NDRC.

Sun from Seagate said: “In the future, data centers will have more storage capacity, stronger data processing capabilities, and they will become increasingly green.”

She said China attaches great importance to sustainable development, and a Seagate Technology related to hard disks can help provide 30 percent of electricity for data centers.

Seagate Technology is the only international hard drive manufacturer with a production base in China. Despite the negative effects of the COVID-19 epidemic, its factory in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, managed to record a 3 percent year-on-year increase in production to 8.3 billion yuan in the first half.

The hard disks produced by the Wuxi factory, which has about 6,000 employees, not only meet the demand of the Chinese market, but serve up to 70 percent of Seagate Technology’s customers at its peak.

“The Wuxi factory features intelligent manufacturing with automated production. It can assemble a hard drive in an average of 4 seconds. With big data as the primary driving force, the factory also conducts digital management of production and manufacturing,” Sun said.

To better meet the specific requirements of Chinese customers, Seagate has specially designed products for different sectors such as smart city and security. It has also partnered with Chinese customers to set up joint laboratories in areas such as cloud computing and data recovery, to respond quickly to their needs.

“We have close relationships with Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud and Chinese server maker Inspur. They lead the world in adopting the latest generation of storage products,” Sun said.

Data produced by China is expected to account for 27.8 percent of global data by 2025, according to forecasts by market research firm International Data Corp.

In order to better pounce on opportunities, Sun said Seagate Technology invests more than $1 billion in research and development each year.

“Seagate will expand its design further with the development of China’s digital economy. We will focus on the development of new infrastructure, the East Data Computing Project, and the West to develop a robust data infrastructure for it,” Sun said.