Lenovo and NEC may team up on PCs

Lenovo is in talks with NEC for a joint venture in personal computers, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, in a deal that would help them take on larger global rivals.

Lenovo and NEC may team up on PCs

The Nikkei business newspaper said China-based Lenovo planned to take a controlling interest in Japanese NEC’s PC unit. But a buy-out might be a delicate move as Japan eyes China’s growing clout, and sources said it was not clear what form the partnership might eventually take.

Lenovo, ranked fourth in the global PC market behind Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Acer, is looking to tap NEC’s technology for development and expand its share of the Japanese market, the report said.

NEC, which is the top maker in Japan’s mature PC market but does not rank in the top 10 globally, would likely see the tie-up as a chance to take advantage of the fast-growing Chinese market.

A spokesman for NEC declined comment. Lenovo declined to confirm the report, but said that the company was always looking at ways to expand its market share and talking to potential partners.

NEC-branded PCs are expected to remain on the market once the deal is concluded, the report said.

Fukoku Capital management’s CEO Yuuki Sakurai said one reason the Chinese are interested in buying Japanese companies is “so they won’t be accused of stealing their technologies.”

“Because they have a great amount of money in their pockets they are trying to see which companies are good for buying and I think this is going to be a wide-ranging wave throughout Japanese industry.”

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