Hewlett-Packard (HP) will sell a controlling 51 per cent stake in its China-based data-networking business to China's Tsinghua Unigroup for at least US$2.3 billion, forming a partnership designed to create a Chinese technology powerhouse. State-backed Tsinghua Holdings' subsidiary Unisplendour Corp will acquire 51 per cent of HP's H3C Technologies for at least US$2.3 billion, Unisplendour said in a statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange late on Thursday. READ MORE: Biggest Chinese chip maker in talks to buy controlling stake in HP's China operation The US company also said in a statement on Thursday it will form a partnership with Tsinghua Holdings, affiliated with China's elite Tsinghua University, to create a group in China to house H3C's networking operation alongside its China-based server, data-storage and technology-services businesses. HP said in its statement it valued its H3C business at US$4.5 billion. The company had previously valued the unit at US$5.5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters last month. Western tech companies have struggled for customers in China after former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's revelations of cyberspying programme involving US firms. Many of these Western companies are now seeking local partners or selling off assets altogether to Chinese buyers.