November 1, 2011

SHENZHEN: Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's No.2 network equipment maker, said it is open to acquiring and partnering companies with expertise in producing software for cloud computing.

Global technology companies from Cisco Systems Inc to Oracle Corp have been acquiring companies to boost their capabilities in cloud computing, the latest network technology trend that stores applications, data and software online.

"Huawei is a private company, so our acquisitions won't be for huge amounts like other listed companies," Li Sanqi, chief technology officer of Huawei's IT hardware product line, told Reuters on the sidelines of a company event.

"I feel that we will have acquisitions in the cloud and ICT (information and communications technology) arenas. We are searching, but we'll be careful in the United States for political reasons," he said from Shenzhen in southern China, where the company is based.

The cloud computing sector, which allows users to download games, music, documents and other files from huge online databases to handheld devices, is expected to reach $3.2 billion this year in Asia alone from $1.87 billion last year, market research firm IDC said. The cloud market globally could reach $55 billion in 2014, IDC said.

Over the past year or so, global companies have been stepping up deals with cloud-related companies. Cisco Systems said in March that it planned to buy privately held software company newScale Inc and late last year, and had struck a sales partnership deal with business software company BMC Software Inc to sell cloud devices.

Last week, Oracle Corp signed a deal to buy online customer service company RightNow Technologies Inc for about $1.5 billion, sparking speculation of bids for other cloud technology companies.

"A lot of cloud technology companies are based in the United States. We have some partnerships in the United States. Other than the United States, we are also looking at Israel, Canada and China," Li said.

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