China's Inspur vows to take over IBM’s local business

Inspur Group Ltd, a Chinese domestic server maker, says 80 ex-IBM employees have joined after it recently started a campaign to lure customers from Big Blue.

Late last week the Chinese server business unveiled its “IBM to Inspur” initiative in Jinan, Shandong province, vowing to take over IBM’s server business in the country after reports indicated China's government has banned local banks from using IBM servers due to security concerns.

On Thursday, Inspur told Chinese media the company is ready to “comprehensively” take over IBM’s server business in China. Some 80 IBM former employees have already joined Inspur, according to the company.

Sina news indicated that shares in Inspur hit highs in three consecutive days.

A document provided by Inspur showed the company started a nationwide roadshow on May 27 spruiking its data center products.  These include high-end servers, generic servers, storage systems, cloud computing, big data, high-performance computing and mainframe security solutions, and applications.

Inspur said some Chinese financial institutions started replacing IBM servers and facilities at the end of last year. Some of these state-owned lenders, including China Construction Bank and Postal Savings Bank, have already selected Inspur servers for trials.

Inspur’s vice president Zuo Baichen said its server and minicomputer products now have the ability to fully usurp IBM's traditional position. The company has also strengthened after recruiting a large number of professionals from IBM and other foreign server vendors.

The Chinese government’s increasing awareness of information security has “outstripped” Inspur’s expectation, Zuo said, adding that the company wins government projects worth hundreds of millions of yuan every year.

A Bloomberg report  on May 27 said the Chinese government is urging its domestic lenders to replace high-end IBM servers with locally-made products. No government agencies or Chinese banks commented on the report.