Lenovo breaks ground on new production center in China

The new center will build PCs and research mobile Internet services and equipment

Chinese PC maker Lenovo has broken ground on a new operations center in southwestern China that will produce computers, as well as bolster the company's research efforts in mobile Internet.

The operations center, planned to measure more than 100,000 square meters in size, will be built in an technology business zone located in the city of Chengdu. The facility will include a production center designed to manufacture 10 million PCs per year. Desktops computers will be first produced at the site, then eventually notebooks, servers and mobile Internet products.

The project also calls for the building of a new research and development center focused on services and devices for the mobile Internet. About 1,000 employees will work at the research and development center.

Lenovo announced it would build the new facility in October, with a planned investment of at least US$100 million from the company and its partners into the initial stage of the project. The facility will also house a new marketing center meant to serve western China, Central and South Asia, and Europe.

The PC manufacturing side of the project will go into operation in late 2011. Lenovo's operation center will be built based on the company's seven other existing global factories.

Lenovo was the world's fourth largest PC maker in 2010, with the company behind HP, Dell and Acer. In the fourth quarter of last year, Lenovo saw 9.5 million PC shipments, an increase of 21.1 percent from the same period in 2009.

The company is also becoming more active in building smartphones and tablet devices. Earlier this month, Lenovo announced it was focusing on these emerging product areas of the gadget sector by setting up a new business unit.

Lenovo already unveiled its first tablet computer, the LePad, at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company also launched a new smartphone in China last year called the LePhone. Both products are targeting the China market. But Lenovo has plans to launch several other Android-based tablets in the U.S.

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Michael Kan

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