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Lenovo and NEC joint venture targets Japanese PC market

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Chinese computer maker Lenovo and top Japanese computer maker NEC have announced they are forming a new joint venture, NEC Lenovo Japan Group, to specifically make PCs for the Japanese market. Lenovo is currently the number-four PC marker in the world, but has had trouble cracking the traditionally insular Japanese market. NEC might not be a household PC name in North America, but it is the top PC manufacturer in Japan. The companies believe that Lenovo’s manufacturing, procurement, and supply chain resources combined with NEC’s marketing, sales, and distribution capabilities will give them a competitive edge in the Japanese PC market…where they will debut as the biggest player.

“The agreement with NEC is a perfect fit for our strategy. It reinforces our commitment to our core PC business while, at the same time, providing important new opportunities for growth in Japan,” said Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing, in a statement. “We are combining our global strength and momentum with NEC’s market leadership. It is the perfect partnership for us and for our customers.”

Lenovo will hold a 51 percent controlling stake in the joint venture, with NEC holding the remaining 49 percent—NEC also picks up a tidy $175 million from Lenovo in the form of Lenovo shares as part of the deal. The companies expect the deal to close by June 30, 2011, and that the combined company will be able to bring innovative products to the Japanese market quickly and at competitive prices. Both the NEC and Lenovo brand names will continue to be used.

In addition to PCs, Lenovo and NEC are open to expanding the partnership to include other classes of devices—that includes things like tablets and servers, as well as providing global support to Japanese companies operating outside Japan.

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