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Lenovo Looking to Buy Seagate, May Raise Political Concerns 255

Posted by Zonk
from the this-is-what-we're-worried-about dept.
andy1307 writes "According to an article in the New York Times, Lenovo has expressed an interest in buying Seagate. This has raised concerns among American government officials about the risks to national security in transferring high technology to China. From the article: 'In recent years, modern disk drives, used to store vast quantities of digital information securely, have become complex computing systems, complete with hundreds of thousands of lines of software that are used to ensure the integrity of data and to offer data encryption.'"
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Lenovo Looking to Buy Seagate, May Raise Political Concerns

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  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:26PM (#20377935)
    Quick! Where's McCarthy when we need him?

    Honestly, they're raising the same fuss as when IBM sold off their PC and laptop divisions to Lenovo. There's no reason why we should be paranoid about stuff this. It's business.
    • I understand being paranoid about it. What I don't understand is why they don't simply write into all those wonderful governmental contracts "Must not be manufactured in China", which would simply cut out a HUGE market for these companies that outsource.
      • by Grishnakh (216268)
        You're assuming that the US Government really cares that much about secrecy, national security, or any of that crap.

        By manufacturing stuff in China, corporations are able to save lots of money, and make much bigger profits. Corporate profits are far more important to the elites in Washington than national security.

        Plus, the free-trade crowd would be angered by such a move, as would the anti-government waste crowd, who would whine about the government paying 10 times as much for something that they could ge
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Heh. I was watching Bill Maher, and he said something to the effect that America's desire to buy stuff as cheap as possible is the reason they're made from poison, mud and shit.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:52PM (#20378229)

      s/McCarthy/Bush/g
      s/communist/terrorist/g
      Closer than you think
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770)
      Honestly, they're raising the same fuss as when IBM sold off their PC and laptop divisions to Lenovo. There's no reason why we should be paranoid about stuff this. It's business.

      Yes, it is. And when those Chinese-owned leaders get certain hints to store certain things in "bad" sectors who might suddenly resurface in "slack" space seeded with a salt to look like random noise or risk being shut down, that's also business. Or there's a kill code that they can send out to wipe itself and bring down military sys
      • by kestasjk (933987) on Monday August 27, 2007 @11:17PM (#20379895) Homepage
        I didn't know the US government trusted Seagate with their military systems and classified data. What "certain things" are you talking about here? What private information gets stored on a hard disk? Like the US government aren't going to bother with encryption.

        And since when can hard disk manufacturers send out messages to specific hard disks?

        Chief! We're intercepting a message from the Chinese! It's coming through now: "This is Red Dragon to SEAGTE-#1938-391283-2934; the US government's warranty has just run out. Crash Crash Crash! Over."
        Dear God! It'll be like Pearl Harbor all over again, except with hard disk drives instead of our navy!
      • by Divebus (860563)
        Different thought: If the Chinese Government decided to threaten the U.S. effectively ending Western foreign trade, how long until all the Chinese manufacturers and workers end the Chinese Government? It would be over in three days with a brand new Chinese Government. Period. Chinese manufacturers are filthy Capitalists, just like us Americans, with billions of workers who like to eat.
      • Get real. If such things was doable or was done, then the U.S. military already did it and this is the only reason they protest. Which means for the rest of the world it is the choice between the "red scare" and the "cow boy scare". And seeing how many country the US invaded recently under spurious reason, I would rather chose the red scare.
      • by GrahamCox (741991)
        But when business and government go hand in hand like they do in China, you'd also be naive to think they don't further each other's goals.

        This is different from America in what way?
      • by Yvanhoe (564877)
        I, for one, completely support decisions that could lead to such a catastrophic outcome. This looks like the only way to have leaders and law makers to understand the value of openness in the technological world.
    • by WindBourne (631190) on Monday August 27, 2007 @08:40PM (#20378711) Journal
      wow. You need to study history. The business world is used heavily to spy or screw on each other. For example, Xerox copiers as well as pipe controls come to mind. And yes, this still occurs. I wrote about this earlier, but it bears repeating. In a start-up that I was part of, we had a Taiwanese who wanted to invest in us. Only he wanted access to the machine that we had (it was hard to send it even to Britain or Canada, china was out of the question). Turns out that he wanted to take the device to China. Said that he could get 100's of millions for it (no doubt). And that is just one story. America has been selling off far too much business. For something like this, it needs to stop.
    • Cisco (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Presto Vivace (882157)
      I thought the Chinese already owned Cisco, or am I misinformed?
      • Nah, they still use college student labor.

        Though cost cutting will probably result in them moving down a link or two.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iminplaya (723125)
      Where's McCarthy when we need him?

      He's everywhere. In the white house, the halls of congress. He's running the FBI, DHS, DEA... He's listening to your phone calls, reading your mail... He lives on the west coast, the east coast, the middle coast, down the block, right next door... He has penetrated your collective soul. He is everywhere.
  • by Tragek (772040) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:27PM (#20377941) Journal
    The article says nobody will say WHICH Chinese tech company wants to buy.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:29PM (#20377957) Homepage Journal
    So a Chinese Company wants to buy a Canadian (?!?!?) company that makes hard drives. Fine. Stop buying Seagate for the NSA, and move on with our lives.
    • Yeah, but think about how many Semi trailers of hard drives a day they must get at the NSA for all their "wiretapping" needs.. That could be a huge chunk of revenue!
      • Yeah, but think about how many Semi trailers of hard drives a day they must get at the NSA for all their "wiretapping" needs.. That could be a huge chunk of revenue!

        And by having their own factory, they can have economy of scale PLUS being able to sell their own proprietary back door drives to the public.
    • by 2ms (232331)
      Hey storage tech master, are you really so naive as to think that it's Seagate-only tech that's at issue and that all the US govt would have to do to make the the Seagate tech useless is to hot-swap to all Maxtors or something?
    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Anyway, Chinese manufacturers already hijack Vista DRM mechanisms to erase anti-governmental "spywares"
      Hey, it COULD be true !
  • by tftp (111690) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:29PM (#20377963) Homepage
    This has raised concerns among American government officials about the risks to national security in transferring high technology to China

    I think the horse has not only left the barn, it's off the planet by now. What were those "government officials" thinking for last decades? And this process is not [easily] reversible - China has all the factories now, and rephrasing Mao, "Power comes out of the gates of the factory." This much we see already.

    • Look, you have your economy in hock. China has much more than enough dollars. So the time has come to Pay up in hard goods or your currency suddenly isn't worth the paper its printed on.

      Yup, it's way too late for worrying....

      You yanks should move on a little towards the PANIC NOW stage.

      • by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday August 27, 2007 @08:43PM (#20378737)
        The problem with your panicking concept is that, at least for now, China's economy is highly dependent on the USA's. After all, we're the ones buying most of the junk their factories make. In exchange, they're getting a bunch of our green paper currency. So I would have to assume that China is not interested in our currency devaluing rapidly any time soon, because then they'll have sold us all that stuff and done all that work for nothing, and they'll have a much smaller market to sell to.

        So basically, since Dollar bills are basically IOUs, we're in debt to China. In a normal trade relationship, they would be using those dollars to buy stuff back from us. The problem here is that we don't really make much to sell to them. I know Buicks are really popular there for some strange reason (bad taste? Are the Chinese going to start dying their hair blue and wearing really ugly clothes next?), but that's not enough, plus those Buicks are probably made in Chinese factories anyway.

        What's the endpoint of this? Honestly, I don't know. I'm an engineer, dammit, not an economist. But it doesn't look good to me. I guess, if nothing else, China will wind up with lots of great technology, and spiffy new factories to build it with, and while we're sitting around with worthless currency trying to figure out how to survive when we've all forgotten how to do anything practical because we were too busy studying marketing and law, China will be self-sufficient. Does China have expansionist of imperialist aims? Would they be interested in conquering the USA and enslaving us while stealing our resources? The way we've been acting, we probably deserve it.
        • by tftp (111690)
          The problem here is that we don't really make much to sell to them.

          And to make things worse, ITAR stops many US companies from selling some high-tech stuff that China would love to have, but which has dual use or military use. And much of US export is military and high-tech stuff. The USA can't compete with China on rice, for example, or on metals; not even on cars - China flooded Russia with cheap cars, and if anyone wants something better then Honda and Toyota are just a ferry ride [waytorussia.net] away, and always gla

        • by AmazingRuss (555076) on Monday August 27, 2007 @10:33PM (#20379581)
          Seems like they are trying to create a couple of generations in our country that have no idea how to design or manufacture anything, by undercutting us and removing any incentive to learn.

          If they can keep this going, the US will eventually become a nation of realtors and barristas. Could be they aren't interested in the paper we give them at all.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by ClamIAm (926466)
            Seems like they are trying to create a couple of generations in our country that have no idea how to design or manufacture anything, by undercutting us and removing any incentive to learn.

            If by 'they', you mean 'China' or 'the Chinese government', I'm pretty sure this is incorrect. The Chinese and their government certainly have more (economic) power now than before, however this power has come at the cost of giving even more power to those who are already the winners of Global Capitalism.

            Also, regarding e
          • by dbIII (701233)
            Your own management did this - I suggest cutting off their cocaine supply instead of blaming China.
          • Seems like they are trying to create a couple of generations in our country that have no idea how to design or manufacture anything, by undercutting us and removing any incentive to learn.

            They are trying to make better lives for their people and themselves. They are trying to get rich. You do that through trade, and all they've done is set their currency so that they're cheap (at anything, as long as it brings in business). They have a billion people to drag out of subsistence living.

            Do you want to know the truth? Your problem is that the US dollar is the world reserve currency. This means that there's huge demand for it from other countries to buy stuff like oil. It makes you lazy becau

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by refactored (260886)
          I suspect an engineer does better than an economist.

          An economist dreams that fancy accounting can fix things, an engineer tends to think in terms of conservation laws, reservoirs and pressures.

          What's the end game?

          I'm not sure, the things I have been reading about China suggests it may not be what Americans think it is...

          You see China is Old. China is old old old and utterly massive.

          It has basically been way overpopulated and resource depleted since about 1900....

          America is just waking up to thou

        • by hazem (472289)
          So basically, since Dollar bills are basically IOUs, we're in debt to China. In a normal trade relationship, they would be using those dollars to buy stuff back from us.

          As you said, the US does not have much that China can buy with all its dollars. There are two things that help keep that from being a problem. Currently a vast majority of oil is bought and sold in $US, and China needs a lot of oil to fuel its economy.

          So, the US buys lots of cheap Chinese stuff with $US, and China uses those $US to buy lot
        • by hazem (472289)
          So basically, since Dollar bills are basically IOUs, we're in debt to China. In a normal trade relationship, they would be using those dollars to buy stuff back from us. The problem here is that we don't really make much to sell to them.

          See my previous post - it's a 3-way process. We buy tons of cheap stuff from China using $US. They buy tons of oil from the middle east using those $US, and then we sell expensive weapons systems to the middle east to get those $US back.

          The thing to watch in this tenuous
        • by bjourne (1034822)
          China will be self-sufficient. Does China have expansionist of imperialist aims? Would they be interested in conquering the USA and enslaving us while stealing our resources? The way we've been acting, we probably deserve it.

          How can they be self-sufficient when their economy is totally dependent on exports? They don't have a significant home market so if some countries decided not to buy from them or add trade tariffs, they would be pretty much screwed. One billion DVD players is only worth something if
    • exactly!!! All the drives are BUILT in China right now. When the Chinese want to, they will do whatever they want to spy on us and we won't be able to stop it!
    • Don't be naive in thinking that the threat is China adding spy stuff.. I think it's a lot more realistic that Seagate will need to clean up their firmware base before a sell to remove the routines that are *already* there 'on request of certain agencies'. I would not be surprized at all if today's drives accept specific undocumented command sequences that can either disable the drive and/or disable any encryption in place.
  • I'm no expert, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bombula (670389) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:29PM (#20377967)
    the statement that, "the risks to national security in transferring high technology to China" referring to hard drive technology just sounds a bit silly. I'd bet dollars to donuts that any technology latent in a commercial hard drive that the Chinese might be after can be reverse engineered right off the shelf. The only exception might be the encryption component, but - someone correct me here if I'm completely wrong - as I understand it 128-bit encryption is no longer restricted by the US government, presumably because they can break it, and that is why 128-bit is also the current 'limit' or whatever on commercial encryption products.
    • by click2005 (921437)
      It wouldn't surprise me if the hard drives, or at least some of the components are constructed or assembled in China anyway.
    • by Tackhead (54550)
      > the statement that, "the risks to national security in transferring high technology to China" referring to hard drive technology just sounds a bit silly. I'd bet dollars to donuts that any technology latent in a commercial hard drive that the Chinese might be after can be reverse engineered right off the shelf. The only exception might be the encryption component, but - someone correct me here if I'm completely wrong - as I understand it 128-bit encryption is no longer restricted by the US government
      • The US government is wise not trust a Chinese implementation of those standards for its data, because the US government can't guarentee the absence of Chinese-added backdoors.

        So stop buying from Seagate and put a few tax dollars back into manufacturing hard drives here. You provide jobs for Americans *and* data security for the federal government. Win-win to me.
        • by Tackhead (54550) on Monday August 27, 2007 @08:13PM (#20378455)
          > > The US government is wise not trust a Chinese implementation of those standards for its data, because the US government can't guarentee the absence of Chinese-added backdoors.
          >
          >So stop buying from Seagate and put a few tax dollars back into manufacturing hard drives here. You provide jobs for Americans *and* data security for the federal government. Win-win to me.

          Sure, that's better than selling our secrets to the Chinese, but where's the win to the American hard drive user?

          Geek: Have you got anything without added backdoors?
          NSA: Try that Hitachi Deathstar, it doesn't have that many backdoors in it since the Japanese bought IBM's hard drive division.
          Geek: I don't want any government's backdoors!
          CIA: Can't hd have the Western Digital? Hasn't got as many backdoors in it as the Hitachi Deathstar!
          Yankees (Singing): Back-door-back-door! Back-DOOOR! For Homeland and more!
          Geek: How about this old IDE drive and this 8-bit ISA-bus IDE controller?
          Everyone: Eeeew!
          Geek: What do you mean 'Eeeww'? I don't like backdoors!
          Yankees: Lovely backdoors! Wonderful backdoors!
          DHS: Shut up! Bloody Yankees! You can't have an IDE without the controller card, and you can't have the controller card without the backdoor! Unless he wants to go back to MFM/RLL, and then we can recover everything even after a low-level format! The very first backdoor!
          Geek: I don't like backdoors!
          DHS: Sshh, citizen, don't cause a fuss, or we'll have your backdoor! We love it. Mmm, backdoors, CALEA for the telephone switches, backdoors, the Clipper Chip for the phones, backdoors in newfangled BIOSes, TPMs, DRMs, backdoors into the backdoors, it's backdoors into everything!
          Yankees (singing): Back-door-back-door! Back-DOOOR! Lovely backdoor! Backity door! Safety galore! For homeland and more! Backdoor! Lovely backdoor! Backity door! For the children and more...

      • by Grishnakh (216268)
        "I do not think anyone in the US wants the Chinese to have access to the controller chips for a disk drive.

        This is an interesting statement, since Seagate drives are all already made in China.
    • Who cares if the NSA has found a way to solve AES128 in a timely fashion? Many of the AES candidate algorithms can be extended to arbitrary key lengths and some 4096bits variants are currently out in the wild. Rijindael (today's AES) itself supports 128, 192 and 256bits as standard (required by NSA) and 160/224 as common extras. With more rounds and larger S-tables, larger keys could be supported. The main parameters that really limit key lengths of most AES candidates is throughput and implementation compl
    • by Tweekster (949766)
      Do you know how easy it would be to make several components operate together in a certain manner to bug a system. Hint, it is easy. Do you know how difficult it is to spot? its nearly impossible.

      We did it to the russians many times, it also was the cause of the gas explosion during the cold war.

  • Double Standard (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pembo13 (770295)
    The US Government will gladly take/steal technology however they can, but they always have this hissy fit when when another country is trying to advance their own technology, directly, or indirectly.
    • Yeah, and did you know the US Government spends all this money on roads and military and social programs for itself, but the highway from Tongjian to Beijing needs a couple potholes fixed or the Chinese army needs a couple new QSZ-92s and suddenly they get all stingy! Like pursuing their own interests is so important, as if!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chuckymonkey (1059244)
      Aaaaannnd? Really how is that any different than any other country. Let me break it down Technology=Power Governments like power so naturally governments want to keep power and get more power. So advancing technology is in the best interest of the country and giving it away is not. Of course there's going to be a double standard, as long as there's war (SPOILER ALERT: with humans there always will be until we destroy ourselves) it's in every country's best interest to hoard technology/power and keep it
    • No Double Standard (Score:3, Informative)

      by chebucto (992517)
      In both cases, the US Government is looking out for the interests of the US - as it should. It's good for the US if it can steal others' technology; it's bad for the US if others steal its technology. Any successful country will do the same; unsuccessful ones will end up like Russia in the 90s - making others richer while it gets poorer.
  • by v3xt0r (799856) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:32PM (#20378011)
    This government, the same one who has no problem allowing China to take hundreds of thousands of jobs away from Americans simply by our failed international trade policies, wants us to worry about national security issues related to 1 corporation. What about all the other national security issues that are caused by trade w. China, or any other socialist/communist country for that matter? What about all the (60%+) staff @ Los Alamos?? Lenovo is the least of my concerns, at this point.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ClamIAm (926466)
      What about all the other national security issues that are caused by trade with ... any other socialist/communist country for that matter?

      Oh shit! Linus Torvalds must be an undercover spook from the Finnish government!

      Seriously though, I'm guessing that you're an American, which means your idea of "socialism" is probably something like Soviet Russia. Which is absurd. Socialism encompasses a very broad area of political thought, and should not be treated like some extreme ideology.
  • by xednieht (1117791) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:36PM (#20378053) Homepage
    China buys blocks and blocks of our national debt, and they're concerned about the Seagate purchase? pfft

    With their ownership of US debt, China is probably as concerned about our national security as we are.
    • by davidsyes (765062)
      I love the sweet irony you raise.... Bitter and SWEET. China IS as worried about US security as the US supposedly is...

      Captcha: Crystal, hehehe (crystal clear?)
    • by TheLink (130905)
      China might be more concerned about your national security than your leaders are ;). Seriously look at what the US leaders do to "take care" of the USA.

      In China they've executed top ministry officials who screw up big time, maybe that's too harsh but they're under greater constraints - poorer, 1 billion people, less arable land, the "legacy" of Mao.

      Anyway, while it's a strange game - US buying Chinese goods, China buying US bonds, US using that "money" to buy more stuff, but so far the players have been pla
  • by neapolitan (1100101) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:39PM (#20378067)
    We (the US) have long had a ban on the export of 'strong' (>40 bit, now >64 bit key) technology to foreign governments / citizens. I've long wondered about this.

    It seems to me that:

    - All concerns regarding exporting of technology that is not guarded as a trade secret is ineffective. If China wants a technology that is freely available over here (USA), just have one of their numerous graduate students download the technology and send it over there. AFAIK, no American internet provider actively prohibits strong encryption connections to Chinese IPs (their "great firewall" may be different).

    However, my second immediate thought is:

    - Seagate likely has numerous trade secrets that are *not* public domain, and thus can now be exclusively owned and operated by the Chinese. Imagine if DES had a backdoor (or Seagate's equivalent), and my organization uses Seagate's out of box encryption (not likely ;) -- now a foreign government controls this. Legitimately scary.

    As for the 'manufacturing techniques' -- as long as there is an oligopoly of storage makers, I'm not concerned. We have bright minds here coming out of graduate school and going to work at Seagate as well as Western Digital, IBM, Intel, etc.

    All the more reason to use published cryptographic standards, and not rely on any proprietary solutions -- they can never fall exclusively into the "wrong hands."
    • > Imagine if DES had a backdoor (or Seagate's equivalent), and my organization uses Seagate's
      > out of box encryption (not likely ;) -- now a foreign government controls this. Legitimately scary.

      So you are saying that currently every state besides the U.S. should be scared?
      • by polar red (215081)

        &So you are saying that currently every state besides the U.S. should be scared?
        Yes we are, but not because of encryption, more because of the random gun slinging.
  • Seagate have given me years of rock-solid hard drivers. Own many, but never lost one due to failure.

    Now Lenovo wants to buy them out? For all that is holy, stop them. China just doesn't get quality, and the hard drive is one place more than anything else in a PC where quality counts.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Alex Zepeda (10955)
      You're kidding, right? My last Seagate ('Cuda.10 - 320GB) was made in China.
  • by bomanbot (980297) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:47PM (#20378171)
    Wasnt Seagate the company that bought Maxtor not too long ago? And will the buyout end there or will we see the great consolidation in the hard drive business as well, so that in the end it may look like the CPU market, especially for x86 processors?

    I mean, there are not that many hard drive companies left anyway, the big players are Seagate/Maxtor, Hitachi, Western Digital and Samsung and thats about it. Let Seagate be bought and maybe merge another company or two and the hard dirve market looks an awfully lot like AMD/Intel or ATI(AMD)/NVIDIA, which may not be as beneficial as we think....
    • Ages ago, Seagate bought Conner, who made good drives. Later, Maxtor bought Quantum, who made good drives. Recently, Seagate bought Maxtor. These days the real players are Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, Fujitsu (SCSI only I believe) and Hitachi.
  • by pavon (30274) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:55PM (#20378263)
    Seagate is pretty much the only computer componets company that hasn't wavered much in quality over the years. IBM, Western Digital, and Maxtor have all gone through phases ranging from good quality to absolute crap, while Seagate has continued to put out consistently good products.

    I understand that theory that larger companies can decrease overhead and thus be more efficient, but that never seems to happen. The success rate on mergers looks almost as bad as on startups. But this stupid economic model that is the stockmarket rewards growth (even artificial growth) over all else - quality, efficiency you name it. We created this system, and the laws that govern it, and then we act shocked, just shocked, when the market consolidates to the point of a monopoly. What is the point of even having anti-trust laws when we not only allow but encourage consolidation at every turn.

    Sorry, I'm just so tired of seeing all these mergers that decrease the amount of competition in the field and end up destroying everything that was good about the company to begin with.
  • China Seagate (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hackus (159037) on Monday August 27, 2007 @07:59PM (#20378297) Homepage
    Question: These people allowed all of our technology such as computers...etc....out of the country and NOW they have a problem with simple storage devices?

    Whats wrong with this picture?

    China already owns Taiwan all nice and legal like.

    The Chinese already HAVE everything they need to build anything they want.

    The Chinese OWN the United States. China has been buying our treasury bills to float the home mortgages everyone has for christ sake, along with those credit cards everyone on average owes like $5K on!

    NOW they have a problem with moving a relatively simple technology like drive storage out of the country?

    Gimme a beak!

    -Hack
  • On-disk encryption [seagate.com] is why the U.S. government would be nervous about Chinese ownership of Seagate. They'd be afraid of a back door in their "secure" hard drives.
  • This has raised concerns among American government officials about the risks to national security in transferring high technology to China.

    Why start now?
  • Americans like to buy Chinese stuff with their greenbacks, but refuse to honor them when the Chinese attempt to purchase anything of value.
    • by Ironsides (739422)
      Americans like to buy Chinese stuff with their greenbacks

      Not really, it's just hard to find stuff that ISN'T made in China.

      but refuse to honor them when the Chinese attempt to purchase anything of value.

      Two responses come to mind:
      We're glad to sell the stuff. Just not companies. Cars come to mind.
      We'll sell them something of value when they finally sell us something of value.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by amightywind (691887)

      Americans like to buy Chinese stuff with their greenbacks, but refuse to honor them when the Chinese attempt to purchase anything of value.

      When was the last time the Chinese government allowed the purchase of a Chinese company? Never. China trade is not reciprocol. China is free to overbid for Seagate if they want. But with the gross trade imbalance, currency manipulation (which costs US jobs), and export quality problems they would be unwise to pervoke a labor friendly congress anymore than they have. Th

      • by pangloss (25315)
        When was the last time the Chinese government allowed the purchase of a Chinese company? Never.

        What I know about finance might fit on the tip of a pencil eraser, but it's ridiculous to claim that a Chinese company has never been acquired by a foreign firm. There's a giant banking & legal industry in China around the foreign acquisition of Chinese firms. Depending on the source (e.g., IMF vs Beijing Communication University), foreign investment accounts for as little as 10% of total investment to as much
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by red_gnom (545555)
        "The US economy in free fall grows at a rate of 4%/yr. China will have to grow at 10% for the next 100 years to equal it in size."

        Your calculation is incorrect.
        US GDP in 2006 was 5 times of China.
        With your assumption that US economy grows 4%/yr, and Chinese 10%/yr.

        5 * (1.04)^n = (1.1)^n
        n = number of years = 29

        Therefore with those grow rates it would take China 29 years to overtake US economy.
        In reality the difference in their GDP grow rates is greater, so it should happen much sooner.
  • The time when this could have been done was in the 1970's. now, with Globalization, the technical 'secrets' are spread out all over the world.

    Quick, somebody lock the door, the horse just go out of the barn!
  • You do know a large amount of drives are made in Taiwan. Which is within arms reach of Chinese technology spies. I can't imagine sea gate has much technology that China hasn't already stolen.
  • Perhaps they should buy Hitachi Global Storage instead, and then pick up Lexmark as well. Do that, and they've basically rebuilt a Chinese version IBM's former hardware division!
  • Just how many slashdotters went "yawn" another attept at politicians to hide how they sold us out?...
    I mean, the next door neighbour might be fooled, but the average slashdotter might know it's been owmed and manufactured in china for years...

    I'm not saying it's bad, just that in no fucking way is it news...


  • How many more years will we be using rotating magnetic media for storage? Flash disks are just around the corner. A generation or three of development, and this kind of disk media will likely be dead.

    Not a certainty, but something to think about...
  • If owning harddrive manufacturing (the actual process which, note, is already taking place in Asia) is "national security" worthy, then pretty much everything is.

    For instance, Japan and Europe could - and perhaps should - argue that food production certainly is "national security", both in terms of being self-sufficient so nobody can choke off the country, and in terms of risking evil foreigners secretly poisoning the food supply, and promptly choke off any import of any food that is also produced in countr
  • China already makes those drives, so they already have the tech.

    As for "data encryption" maybe they're afraid that China will no longer put US backdoors in Seagate crypto (and perhaps put their own backdoors) ;).

    Because if you do it right, the US Gov should be holding the private keys and not Seagate. A partial/full copy of the symmetric key(s) used to encrypt the data would be encrypted to the public key and stored so that whoever has private key can get them. Lookup Lotus Notes for such an example.

    Anyway,
  • The free market solution would be that if the US government values Seagate as such resource,
    they should just buy Seagate. It wouldn't be the dumbest investment our government could make.
    The other issue with that though is what company would trust Seagate Drives after that?
    I don't know about you guys but I think maybe IBM should get in to the disk market again...
  • by WoLpH (699064) on Tuesday August 28, 2007 @05:49AM (#20381769)
    So what will change? Perhaps some manager will move but for the rest it's exactly the same as before.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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