China PC makers make great leap

China-based PC manufacturers Legend Group Holdings and Founder have reported doubled growth for the first half of 2000 mainly at the expense of foreign competition, said an analyst at International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia-Pacific.

According to IDC research on sales of PCs and Intel-based servers in Greater China, Legend has maintained its number one position with 107 per cent growth in sales in the first half of 2000, capturing 20 per cent of the total market share, up 7 per cent on the same period last year.

However, the company achieving the most significant growth in the Greater China region was Founder, which witnessed a 127 per cent increase in sales revenue, according to Kitty Fok, associate director for PC research at IDC Asia-Pacific.

As a result of the rapid growth, Founder jumped from sixth to third place in terms of PC sales in Greater China, seizing 7 per cent of the total market, Fok added.

She said Founder had done especially well in the home and education PC markets, where the company recorded 281 per cent and 189 per cent growth, respectively.

"The growth of both mainland-based vendors has been achieved at the expense of their foreign competitors," she said, adding that IBM and Hewlett-Packard, which took second and fifth place, respectively, have seen their market share drop by 1 per cent.

Fok attributed the success of local PC vendors in the China market to lower retail prices, achieved through lower margin and component costs, government support, better channel coverage, and better support and training services for users.

Acer, which ranked fourth in terms of PC sales in Greater China, managed to maintain its 6 per cent market share primarily because of its stronghold in its home market in Taiwan, Fok said.

She estimated that the total Greater China PC market was split as follows: 77 per cent to China, 15 per cent to Taiwan and 8 per cent to Hong Kong. Looking ahead, Fok said the emergence of WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) devices and set-top boxes is not expected to slow down the sales of PCs in the region, especially in China.