Intel names Sean Maloney as Chinese chairman

Intel has declared its commitment to China by shipping its executive vice president Sean Maloney over to Beijing to fill the exciting new role of chairman at Intel China.

Hospitalised with a stroke in March last year that left him on long-term medical leave, Maloney has since been recovering well - and now clearly feels strong enough to lead Intel's expansion in the lucrative Chinese markets.

Maloney will move to Beijing to become the chairman of Intel China, pushing the company's expansion in what is considered to be one of the biggest areas for growth in high-tech - but he's likely to have a fight on his hands.

Understandably, China is keen on increasing its GDP and decreasing its reliance on foreign technology - and has been developing its own range of CPUs to rival those from American companies like Intel and AMD.

"Just like a country's industry cannot always depend on foreign steel and oil, China's information industry needs its own CPU," Hu Weiwu, deputy of the National People's Congress, claimed earlier this year - referring to the experimental Loonsong CPU design.

Although a long way from a commercially proven technology, the Loonsong design has already been used to great effect in Chinese supercomputers like the Dawning 6000, which includes 10,000 locally produced CPUs. "Hopefully, after two decades, we will be able to sell our China-made CPUs to the US," Hu claimed, "just like we are selling clothes and shoes."

With Chinese designs already eating in to Intel's HPC market in China, there's no wonder that the company is eager to send someone out to personally oversee the region - and the thought that in a couple of short decades the company could have cheap foreign imports attacking its US market share must surely be a further worry for the company.

Speaking to business news service Bloomberg, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy claimed that Maloney's appointment was the first time Intel has put someone "at that high a level" into a foreign country - suggesting that the company is growing increasingly concerned at the goings-on in China.