Kalorama Information Justin Saeks, author of Next Generation Sequencing Trends, was recently interviewed in Forbes Asia magazine for a story about China's BGI. The Chinese company, owned by private investors and employees, is making its acquisition of Complete Genomics. According to the article, Wang Jian, co-founder and president of BGI Shenzhen said he made the acquisition as a defensive measure to head off Illumina's entry into the service market.
“If we did not buy [Complete Genomics], we’d be restricted. We had to
make this acquisition. There was no other alternative. Iluminia was in
machine manufacturing, but it has gone into services to compete with us.
It has played a supporting role, but has now also become a player,” he
Indeed. BGI owned Illumina systems and still owns them and puts them to use. We suspect that might change. Overall, Kalorama Information is not as intrigued with the "us-vs-them" element of the story. Business is business and American firms are entering China and competing with their local markets. Complete Genomics was not succeeding and sans the China investment in this whole genome service technology, it might have disappeared into the dustbin of
history. We suspect that long term, China is smart to invest in whole genome sequencing the way it is.