A Hewlett-Packard (HP) Corp booth at an expo in Beijing. The PC maker announced expansion plans in Beijing on Wednesday. [Photo / China Daily]
Expansion to be channeled by newly appointed executives
BEIJING - Hewlett-Packard (HP) Corp, the world's largest PC maker by shipment volume, announced its expansion plans for China on Wednesday.
Although the company declined to disclose the amount of its new investment, it announced it has assigned two executives to lead the Chinese unit.
Leo Apotheker, HP chief executive officer, told a news conference in Beijing that the company will place greater emphasis on cloud computing (using the Internet as a hard drive), software and wireless devices such as tablet PCs this year to boost its growth in China.
To tap into the booming Chinese market, which is home to the world's largest Internet population and an "important growth region" for HP, Apotheker brought an executive team to China for a visit to focus on the acceleration of the company's growth in the market. In February, he said HP will see earnings increase to $7 a share by 2014, a rise of 53 percent from $4.58 in 2010.
In order to strengthen its business in the country, the company has appointed Todd Bradley to the post of executive vice-president of Personal Systems Group (PSG).
His job is to "accelerate growth in China and bring more opportunities to the China office by communicating with the executive council", said Bradley, who is also a member of the executive council.
China and India, two emerging economies, are the only countries to be supervised by the executive council.
Bradley was previously the CEO of Palm Inc, which makes software and hardware for cell phones and was bought by HP for $1.2 billion last year. His first trip to China came in 2003, during his tenure at Palm. After several visits to the country since 2009, he described his new appointment as a "welcome back to China".
Meanwhile, Steve Gill was appointed managing director and vice-president of HP's global sales department on June 20.
The company's expansion plans mean that Bradley and Gill will have their work cut out for them in China this year.
HP will begin operations to expand in Beijing, Shanghai and the northern port of Tianjin. Moreover, its southwest manufacturing center at Chongqing will receive more investment and widen its area of coverage for export shipments. The company will increase investment in cloud computing, research and development.
The company will increase its head count in Beijing when it opens a new Enterprise Servers Storage and Networking Research and Development Center by the end of the year. It also will develop its domestic PSG headquarters in Shanghai.
To attract China's cloud-computing customers, HP opened its first HP Cloud Executive Briefing Center in Tianjin on Tuesday.
The company's new operating system, webOS, will be directly linked to its cloud-computing function. To compete with Apple Inc and other tablet PC makers, Apotheker said HP's large customer base will be an advantage in the software and wireless device sectors.
According to the research company IDC, as many as 5 million tablet PCs could be shipped to China this year, compared with 1.39 million units in 2010.
Apotheker said HP's webOS-based tablet PC will be launched in the US market on Friday, while Bradley said that the company will begin delivering Chinese version by the end of the year.