huawei logo.jpg3Com and Huawei could start a bidding war for H3C, their China-based networking equipment JV.

Huawei currently owns 49% of H3C and under the terms of the three-year-old JV, either party can seek to buy out the other to obtain full control.

The business, which specialises in business communications equipment, is not strategic by Huawei, which is focussed more on the carrier market. So, if Huawei were to buy out its US partner, it would probably be with a view to selling the venture on to private equity firms.

This opportunity to enter China's fledgling networking equipment market is attracting strong interest from western suitors, according to the Wall Street Journal ($).

Under the terms of the joint venture, 3Com also has the option of buying out its Chinese partner. While financing the deal would be challenging for 3Com, it could allow the US vendor to once become a leading force in networking equipment as it was back in the 1990s.

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