• Kyodo News

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NEC Corp. and China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. announced Thursday a strategic partnership to launch a joint venture by June to target Japan’s personal computer market.

NEC, with the biggest share of the Japanese PC market, the third-largest in the world, and Lenovo, the world’s fourth-largest computer maker, will take advantage of their strong market positions and the expansion of their sales channels to increase PC sales to domestic corporate customers and consumers, they said.

It is the first full-fledged alliance between major Japanese and Chinese players in the information technology industry, and analysts say the tieup could affect electronics makers’ strategies in the sector.

Lenovo will hold a 51 percent stake and NEC the remaining 49 percent in the new joint venture, Lenovo NEC Holdings B.V. The holding company will own Lenovo (Japan) Ltd. and NEC Personal Computers Ltd., a new company taking over the PC business of NEC Personal Products Ltd. Although the joint venture will operate in Japan, it will be registered in the Netherlands.

NEC, known for its PC-98 series that helped popularize PCs, has already pulled out of overseas markets in the face of stiff competition from foreign rivals. Through the tieup, the company hopes to improve its business efficiency, including cutting its parts procurement costs.

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