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Huawei has ambitions to become the world's third-largest data storage provider by 2018, according to a Reuters report.
The Chinese vendor started out making phone switches in 1987, but has since expanded to become the largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer in the world. It is well known for its budget and mid-range Android devices. But apparently, the Shenzhen-based phone-maker isn’t content with telecoms domination.
Huawei's storage product line president Fan Ruiqi told Reuters that the firm was serious about storage.
"We don't want to just be No.1 in China...We want to be at least the top three in the world by 2018," he said.
To say this is a lofty ambition is an understatement. Huawei isn’t even on the radar of the big five storage vendors - EMC, IBM, NettApp, Dell and HP. In fact, the plucky storage provider is generally lumped into the ‘other’ category by the vast majority of bean counters.
But Huawei does have a few aces up its sleeve. For one, it was one of the fastest growing storage vendors year-over-year in 2015, unlike its US rivals - HP, IBM, NetApp and Oracle - all of which are witnessing declining growth.
On top of that, it also happens to be headquartered in a country that is eating up Chinese technology like there is no tomorrow. Huawei has a lot to be optimistic about.
Of course, the fact that it is a Chinese vendor may prove to be both a blessing and a curse. Huawei’s success in the Chinese storage market far outweighs its global penetration rates. The firm provides storage solutions to major public and private sectors such as the People's Bank of China and Alibaba. While it owns nearly a quarter of the domestic storage market, it has a global market share of just 3.3%.
To change this, Huawei told Reuters that it plans to target specific verticals – namely financial institutions, governments and telecom carriers. Fan said that the storage business is expected to yield at least 60% year-on-year growth this year, up from 55.6% growth in. He didn’t go into detail on revenue figures, but said growth in Europe was particularly strong.
Fan expected Huawei's revenue from data-storage to reach at least $2 billion by 2018.
What impact the EMC-Dell deal might have on Huawei’s plans for world domination is anyone’s guess. The merger would push Dell and EMC’s combined market share the No. 1 in China. EMC was the top storage player in the country last year, but Huawei took the title in the first half of 2015 with 16.8% of the market. EMC went No. 2 with 15.2% while Dell was No. 6 with 5.3%; so a combined market share would force Huawei into second place again.