An arm of Tsinghua Unigroup has a deal to buy a 15% stake in hard drive makers Western Digital. Tsinghua Unigroup is a subsidiary of Tsinghua Holdings, and is owned by the state and funded by Beijing's Tsinghua University.
For Western Digital, the partnering could be beneficial in overcoming regulatory hurdles in China. Western Digital purchased Hitachi's hard drive unit for $4.8 billion three years ago with the stipulation that the companies run as separate entities. Western Digital put in a request to merge the two companies.
The $3.78 billion purchase would make Tsinghua the largest shareholder of the US hard drive company and allow Tsinghua to nominate a representative to Western Digital's board.
Tsinghua has been on a shopping spree for U.S. tech companies in an effort improve its own technologies.
In May, the company paid $2.3 billion for a controlling stake in HP's data-networking business in China. It also has a joint venture with 21Vianet Group, which operates Microsoft's cloud services in China, and Intel recently said it plans to jointly develop chips with the firm.
In July, Tsinghua put in a $23 billion bid for Silicon Valley chip maker Micron Technology. Word of the potential deal raised national security concerns and that deal was never finalized.
Synaptics, a maker of touchscreen technology, recently declined an acquisition offer from the group.