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International Business Machines Corporation will help China’s largest server vendor Inspur International design server systems, the two companies said on Friday–an unexpected development in what has been a politically charged rivalry in the Chinese technology market. Since last year, Inspur has aggressively marketed its servers to Chinese state-owned firms as a replacement for IBM systems–while U.S.-China relations have worsened dramatically over mutual suspicions of cyber-spying. The two companies made no mention of cyber-security on Friday, when they announced that IBM would make its DB2 database software and Websphere application software available for use on Inspur’s line of K1 servers.

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