Cisco unveils $16b expansion plan in China

Cisco Systems unveiled a multiyear, $16 billion expansion in China with investments in manufacturing, venture capital and education, an Associated Press report said.

'We're going to the next chapter for Cisco in China,' John Chambers, Cisco CEO, quoted by the Associated Press report, in a news conference, said.

The ventures include an agreement with Alibaba Group, China's biggest online commerce company, to explore developing business services for small and medium-size companies, Chambers said.

Other initiatives include doubling Cisco's manufacturing in China over the next three to five years, a possible $100 million venture capital partnership with a government bank and more support for technology education, the Associated Press report said.

The company says its manufacturing and purchasing in China already support some 50,000 jobs, the Associated Press report said.

Cisco, based in San Jose, California, is the world's largest network equipment maker, with more than 61,500 employees and $34.9 billion in revenue in the latest fiscal year.

China has the world's second-largest population of web users after the US with 162 million people online. The communist government encourages Internet use for business and education but tries to block access to material deemed subversive or pornographic.

The report further said Cisco has been criticized by activists who say it sells Beijing equipment that might be used in official efforts to monitor and control Internet use.

Chambers defended Cisco's dealings in China, saying it does not provide 'unique capabilities' to any government, including that of the United States.