William Watkins, Seagate's CEO, said in an interview that a Chinese tech company has expressed interest in buying a U.S. computer HDD maker:
William Watkins, chief executive of Seagate Technology (STX.N: Quote, Profile, Research), one of the two remaining U.S. drive makers, disclosed the overture in an interview, the Times said.
The possibility has resurrected issues of economic competitiveness and national security such as were raised three years ago when Chinese computer maker Lenovo bought IBM's personal computer business, the Times said.
Watkins did not identify the Chinese company, but said the possible acquisition had set off alarm bells at some government agencies, the Times said. Seagate, based in Scotts Valley, California, has recently begun selling drives with hardware encryption abilities.
Government officials told the newspaper that while disk drives do not fall under a list of export-controlled technologies, moves to purchase a U.S. disk drives company would require a security review by federal officials.
The other disk drive company is Western Digital, based in Lake Forest, California. Officials there declined to comment to the newspaper.
"The U.S. government is freaking out," Watkins was quoted as saying by the newspaper.