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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 March 2007, 12:25 GMT
Dell targets China's PC potential
A Dell computer
Dell is looking to grab a hold of the Chinese market.
Dell has unveiled a low-cost personal computer, aimed at the huge swathe of internet novices in China.

The EC280 model is designed to target some of the one billion Chinese citizens yet to move online.

Priced between 2,599 yuan (171; $335) to 3,999 yuan, the PC is cheaper than similar models on sale in the UK.

The launch is part of an aggressive push into Asian markets by the US computer giant, which is facing slowing sales and weaker growth at home.

There are one billion people online worldwide, and many of the world's second billion users are right here in China
Michael Dell
Dell chief executive

Designed by engineers at Dell's China Design Centre in Shanghai, the PC will have an Intel processor, up to 515 megabytes of memory, a 40 or 80 gigabyte hard drive and the Windows XP Home Edition.

Rapidly expanding

"Today, there are one billion people online worldwide, and many of the world's second billion users are right here in China," chairman and chief executive officer Michael Dell said at the product launch.

"We intend to earn their confidence and their business."

The internet is a rapidly expanding business in China, with 137 million Chinese estimated to be online as of the end of last year, state media has said.

Earlier this month, Dell, which was overtaken as the world's largest computer maker by rival Hewlett-Packard last year, reported a sharp drop in quarterly profit and announced earnings and margins would continue to be under pressure for several quarters.

In China though, where the company is ranked third behind home-grown powerhouse Lenovo Group and Founder Technology, Dell saw a 26% increase in revenue last year.

The Texas-based computer giant has also opened a corporate blog in Chinese, revealing the importance of the market to its future business.

"About one fifth of the world's population speaks Chinese as their first language," Mr Dell said.

"We will continue to have conversations in the language of choice of our customers."

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