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Lenovo, NEC to form Japan’s largest PC venture
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Lenovo has been expanding aggressively outside its home China market since acquiring IBM Corp.’s PC unit in 2005. Lenovo expanded into mobile Internet last year by launching its first smart phone and two Web-linked portable computers.
For NEC, whose PC business has been limited to the Japanese market, the venture could provide a bigger customer base to survive increased competition.
The two companies, which will keep their separate brand names in Japan, have also agreed to explore further business cooperation in areas such as tablet devices and servers, while seeking a possible partnership in global PC sales, Endo said.
Hideyo Takasu, president of NEC Personal Products, will become president and CEO of the venture while Roderick Lappin, currently Lenovo Japan president, will serve as executive chairman.
“With the NEC partnership we will achieve a No. 1 market position in Japan and we are one step close to our ultimate goal” of leading the industry, said Lenovo’s chief financial office Wong Wai Ming in a conference call with reporters.
Lenovo is the world’s fourth-largest PC manufacturer behind Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Taiwan’s Acer Inc. A combined Lenovo-NEC could rise to third place, though rankings are unclear until 2010 global sales figures are reported, Wong said.
The venture with NEC focuses on PCs but will include some products based on Google Inc.’s Android smart phone system, Wong said, without giving details.
The company, based in Beijing and in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, said profits rose 45 percent over a year earlier to $77 million in the quarter that ended in September.
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