China’s Competitiveness: Lenovo

CSIS and Japan’s 21st Century Public Policy Institute have looked at five Chinese firms (Huawei, Lenovo, Suntech, Shanghai Auto, and China South Locomotive), examining the factors that led to their rise, their current state of competitiveness, and the policy implications. In addition to the case studies, a report was also done on the Chinese industrial policymaking process. The policymaking report serves as a primer on the policymaking process and provides an in depth look at actual cases, including the strategic emerging industries policy development. This project was made possible by generous support from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

Lenovo Group Ltd. is a $21 billion personal technology company serving customers in more than 160 countries. It is the largest personal computer (PC) vendor in China and the second largest in the world, having recently surpassed Dell. Some recent data has Lenovo already taking the top spot from HP, which it will likely do in definitive manner by the release of its next annual report. Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM personal computing division, the company develops, manufactures, and markets technology products and services. Lenovo’s business as a producer of PCs, mobile Internet devices, and mobile phones is built on product innovation, a high degree of localization and customization in each country, a highly efficient global supply chain largely based in China, and strong strategic execution. Its product lines include Think-branded commercial PCs and Idea-branded consumer PCs, as well as servers, workstations, and a family of mobile Internet devices, including tablets and smart phones. Lenovo has research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xiamen, and Chengdu, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Its strong showing internationally has been made possible by its dominant market position in China. It also benefited tremendously from its legendary and charismatic founder, Liu Chuanzhi, known as the “Godfather” of China’s information technology (IT) industry.

Nathaniel Ahrens