Porträt des chinesischen PC-Bauers Lenovo, der angeblich das Hardware-Geschäft von IBM übernehmen soll, in der New York Times: Although virtually unknown in the United States, Lenovo - said to be in talks to buy I.B.M.'s personal computer business - is China's largest PC maker and the world's fastest-growing one. And it is emblematic of the ambitions of emergent Chinese industrial giants to create global brand names and capture market share beyond their own borders. Formerly relegated to a low profile as the cheap assemblers for the rest of the industrialized world, Chinese companies now have their sights set on becoming global powers in their own right. The Lenovo Group, partly owned by the Chinese government, had sales of over $3 billion last year and is currently ranked eighth globally among PC makers. It is the overall leader in Asia outside Japan, where NEC and other Japanese companies dominate. (I.B.M.'s Japan unit is in the top five there, though, adding to I.B.M.'s allure for Lenovo.) Based in Beijing and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Lenovo has made its mark by producing a line of low-cost PC's, some selling here in China for as little as $360. With huge sales to Chinese government agencies and schools, and immune from the tariffs levied against foreign brands like Dell, Hewlett-Packard and - so far - I.B.M., Levono now controls about 27 percent of the Chinese PC market, which is about to pass Japan to become the world's second-largest personal computer market after the United States. But the company is experiencing growing pains as it tries to hold onto market share at home while also venturing into Western markets. The company's stock price recently plummeted after Lenovo reported worse-than-expected earnings, citing a price war in China with Dell, Hewlett-Packard and I.B.M. Lenovo may not end up acquiring I.B.M.'s PC business, as at least one other potential buyer is also in negotiations. And other bidders may emerge. But if Lenovo succeeds, acquiring the I.B.M. unit would ease some of the competitive pressure domestically.
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