Legend Group to expand into Taiwan

By Alfred Lee, The China Post

Mainland China’s Legend Group will increase its purchases of motherboards for notebook PCs to about 200,000 units, said Yang Yuanqing, president of Legend Group, who is visiting Taiwan for Computex Taipei 2001.

According to industry sources, Legend is expected to ship 250,000 notebook PCs this year, accounting for 40 percent of mainland China’s notebook PC market, which had a market demand for 483,000 notebook PCs last year. The company’s sales of notebook PCs totaled 120,000 units last year, and will enjoy impressive sales growth this year.

Yang said that his company would strengthen cooperation with Taiwan’s business partners which supply notebook PC’s and PDAs (personal digital assistants) to Legend Group on OEM basis.

Under the current cooperation arrangement, Legend Group focuses on sales and marketing of its brand name products, while its Taiwan partners provide good product design, manufacturing, and services. Yang said the cooperation is complimentary to each other and mutually beneficial.

Legend Group currently purchased its notebook PC’s from First International Computer (FIC) and Compal Electronics. Industry sources said that FIC is expected to provide 70 percent of Legend’s demand this year. The company is also involved in a deal to purchase PDAs from MiTac Technology. Yang said Legend Group would also expand its interests in various other products after meeting Matthew Miau, chairman of MiTac, which has been making a lot of investments in wireless communication and proactive Internet access devices. Legend will move its notebook headquarters from Beijing to Shanghai and set up a notebook assembly plant in Pudong’s Gold Bridge Development Zone.

Because of Legend’s market share in mainland China, Intel signed an agreement not long ago with Legend to jointly develop the notebook PC market in the mainland, which took 24 percent of the total Asia Pacific notebook PC market. The figure is expected to grow 27 percent and 29 percent in 2002 and 2003. There is ample room for cooperation between Taiwan’s information technology companies and their partners in mainland China, and Taiwan need not to worry about the “move westward” of Taiwan’s high tech companies, said Liu Li, director of mainland China’s Economic Information Center of the State Economic and Trade Commission.

The officials told the press that the mainland had observed a restructuring of Taiwan’s IT industry and noticed more and more high tech companies had moved their R&D centers to mainland China. He was positive that Taiwan companies had moved to the development of certain key technologies in the upstream and downstream of their current lines of businesses.

The official disclosed that mainland China might lift its ban on sales of Taiwan-made cellular phones in mainland China.