TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Legend Holdings Ltd., the biggest PC company in China, will raise its notebook PCs procurement from Taiwan's First International Computer Inc.
Legend has asked Taipei-based FIC to supply about 175,000 laptops -- or about 70% of Legend's forecast shipment this year -- according to Caul Bai, director of FIC's portable computer division. Last year, FIC delivered 80,000 units to the Chinese company.
The procurement has been made by Legend's president and chief executive Yang Yuanqing, who is visiting Taipei for next week's Computex 2001 exhibition. Legend hopes to use FIC -- an electronics manufacturing service (EMS) provider -- and others in Taiwan to help tap into the surging demand on the mainland.
"China is the market that we're paying lots of attention to: It's the only one worldwide that's still showing strong growth, when those in the U.S. and Europe have slowed down," Bai said.
"Legend has many established sales channels across the mainland, and we're an efficient PC manufacturer. Our alliance is a win-win situation."
Legend, China's largest OEM, is expected to benefit from the fast-growing Chinese market. In the quarter to March, China's PC sales made up for 40% of the total in the Asia-Pacific region, according to Union Securities Investment Trust & Co. in Taipei. Some 1.9 million PCs were sold in China during that period, rising 38% from a year ago.
For Legend itself, its PC shipments were 1.47 million in 1999, compared to 791,000 in 1998 and 463,000 in 1997.
Legend and FIC are also eyeing the European market. The two companies are in the initial stage of marketing an all-in-one notebook PC developed by FIC that carries a price tag of $1,500 - $1,800, Bai said.
FIC, which ships about 1 million laptops annually to NEC Corp. of Japan, has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, China, Texas, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic to serve global customers. FIC's plant in the Czech Republic makes hundreds of thousands of desktops a month for the sales channels of Compaq Computer Corp. and Hewlett Packard Co. there.
FIC is one of Taiwan's top five PC makers. Its sales in the March quarter rose 20% to $363.7 million on net profit of $10.4 million.
Separately, Mitac International Corp., which has supplied desktop PCs to Legend, is vying to manufacture personal digital assistants (PDAs) and laptops for the Chinese company.
Chairman Miao Feng-chiang of the Mitac Group has met Legend's Yang this week to discuss business possibilities, said an official at Mitac, Taipei, Taiwan. No other details were available.