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Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced a three-year initiative to relocate the majority of its media manufacturing operations from San Jose, California and Odawara, Japan to its facility in Shenzhen, China.

Hitachi GST expects to begin media manufacturing at its Shenzhen facility by the fourth quarter of 2004 and will be in full production by the first half of 2006. San Jose and Odawara will continue to be the primary media facilities through the end of 2005. At that time, the company will assess the current business conditions to determine if redeployment of personnel and other resource actions may be necessary in San Jose and Odawara.

The company plans to keep critically skilled media development and manufacturing pilot lines in San Jose and Odawara for innovative drive technology such as perpendicular recording. Hitachi GST’s media organizations have approximately 800 employees worldwide.

The media is the key component of the hard drive upon which electronic data is written in the data-recording process.

The move toward cost-competitive manufacturing is a hard disk drive industry trend, driven by the lowering of PC and laptop prices and the increasing use of hard drives in consumer electronic devices and other non-traditional applications. According to TrendFocus, an industry research firm based in Palo Alto, California, consumer electronics applications could account for some 30% of hard disk drive unit shipments by 2006, up from 5% in 2002.

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