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Not enough Copper to wire up China so ZJF acquires Firecomms

Imagine how much copper it would take to wire up every residence in China


Published: 25 November, 2010


Imagine how much copper it would take to wire up every residence in China. More copper than is available, according to China-based ZJF Group. That is why it has acquired Ireland-based Firecomms, which has transceivers for consumer plastic optical fiber (POF). Fiber transceivers are made from silicone, and there is enough of that to wire every residence in China.

ZJF Group guaranteed a €5 million ($6.7 million) investment in R&D and to increase the engineering team from 18 to 30 people over the next 12 months. The deal also gives Firecomms a better path for selling in China, which is already its biggest market, according to Firecomms CEO Declan O’Mahoney.

Xuping Zheng, chairman of the ZJF Group, said the acquisition is driven by the recent decision by various provincial governments to classify plastic optical fiber as a major construction focus in China. He pointed out the “green” benefits by saying, “Delivering this infrastructure with copper cables would result in over one million tons of CO2 emissions for China and would be impossible to implement as the demand for copper would far outweigh the world’s supply.”

China is already the largest manufacturer of plastic optical fiber and this is supposed to be the first acquisition of an Irish tech company by a Chinese company.


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