IBM has moved one of its top executives to China, the first time that the computer firm has posted a division headquarters outside the US.
IBM is one of the technology industry's bellwether firms
IBM, also known as International Business Machines, said that chief Procurement Officer John Paterson will be based in Shenzhen, southern China.
The company has 3,000 suppliers in Asia and the region accounts for about a third of the firm's total purchasing.
IBM has been restructuring after selling its personal computer business.
"The demand for software and services skills - across Asia and worldwide - is growing," Mr Paterson said.
"To meet the demand, it will require developing relations with new partners and suppliers, and working with existing ones to help them build skills, processes and management practices to compete globally."