Dell Inc., the world's biggest PC maker, said it could grow sales in China by at least triple the growth rate of the country's total PC market in 2004 for the second-straight year.
"We think we can get to 8 percent by the end of this year," Dell's Asia/Pacific President Bill Amelio said, referring to its market share in China.
"We're definitely going to go for a factor of three next year," he told Reuters in a telephone interview from the company's regional headquarters in Singapore.
Dell recently posted China sales that were up 71 percent from a year ago for its fiscal second quarter ended August 1. Growth was almost as strong at 67 percent in the previous quarter and 72 percent in the quarter before that.
In February, Mr. Amelio said he expected his company's 2003 China sales to grow at least three times as fast as the nation's PC market, expected to grow at about 15 percent this year.
With the 45-percent growth target now easily in range, Mr. Amelio forecast Dell would be able to maintain the three-times market rate of growth in 2004 as well.
Data tracking firm IDC forecasts that the China market -- which posted 11 million unit sales last year -- will grow by 18 percent in 2004, meaning Dell would expect its sales to grow at least 54 percent in China next year.
Since entering China, Dell has rapidly built up its presence and is now the market's fourth-largest PC seller.
Legend Group Ltd is the biggest with 29 percent of the market, followed by Shanghai Founder Yanzhong Technology with 11 percent and unlisted Tsinghua Tongfang Stock Co Ltd with 8 percent, second-quarter data from IDC show.
Dell's growth rate has propelled it from about five percent of the market in last year's second quarter to seven percent this year, making it the top foreign PC seller in China.
The company has a major computer assembly factory in the south China city of Xiamen and recently opened a back-office support centre in the northeastern city of Dalian. It has launched a China version of its Dell Consulting group in a bid to expand its infrastructure and pursue the enterprise segment -- one of its biggest target groups, Mr. Amelio said. "We had one in Japan and Australia, and now we've extended it to China," he said. "We're just starting it out with a few people, but it will grow pretty rapidly if it follows what we've been able to do in Japan."
China is Dell's fourth-largest market behind the U.S., Japan, and Britain -- a position that is unlikely to change for the immediate future, Mr. Amelio said. (Reuters)
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