HP: R&D in China will help us remain PC top dog

HP: R&D in China will help us remain PC top dog

Summary: R&D in China will help HP stave off competitors like Lenovo from stealing its crown as the top PC vendor in the world, according to HP's Anneliese Olson.

TOPICS: PCs, China

HP has been ingratiating itself more with the PC market in China after setting up research and development (R&D) operations within the country. The vendor is hoping that making products in China for the Chinese market will be enough to ward off competitors that are looking to seize HP's position as the number one PC vendor in the world.

In HP's second-quarter results in May, personal systems and printing sales dropped by 20 percent and 1 percent year on year, respectively.

While HP continues to be the biggest PC vendor in the world, Lenovo is rapidly catching up, ready to nab the top position. It helps that Lenovo, a Chinese company, has a strong position in its home market, which will become the biggest market for PC sales in the near future.

To shore up its top dog position in the PC space, HP has doubled its efforts to woo Chinese customers. Many developed countries, including Australia, are rapidly shifting to mobile devices and driving the waning demand for PCs; that is why HP is working so hard in China. On Tuesday, HP launched a range of consumer and business PCs and notebooks, some of which are made specifically for the Chinese market.

"If you look at desktops, notebooks, or tablets, there is no question there is a huge opportunity in China," HP printing and personal systems (PPS) computing solutions, accessories, and services vice president for Asia-Pacific, Anneliese Olson, said at the HP World Tour event in Beijing, China. "China is at the centre of what we are doing right now.

"In competing with the industry vendors out there, I think staying focused on what the customers are doing is really at the heart of what we are doing."

HP's China strategy can be summed up with the tagline that the vendor's CEO Meg Whitman touted at the event: "HP is in China for China". That means doing R&D in China, and having two product development centres for PCs and printers in the country.

"By putting in our China development centres and designing products in that market for customers, rather than designing them in Texas — that was a big step for us, and we started doing that about a year and a half ago," Olson said.

As the number one printer vendor in China, HP is also able to leverage its existing user base, such as those in government and the education sector, to push sales in PPS even further, she said.

"We also added 1,000 channel partners in China just in the last year," Olson said. "As we think about where the market is going and increasing investments in R&D and innovation, I think it makes a catapulting difference for us in the future in terms of how we serve our customers in not just China, but in the rest of the areas we play in."

With China being such an important part of HP's business strategy, the recent appointment of Dion Wiesler as the global head of HP's PPS division has been seen as a great decision within the organisation.

Wiesler was the COO for Lenovo's mobile and digital home groups prior to joining HP as PPS' Asia-Pacific and Japan vice president in 2012.

"It's exciting to have somebody that has experience around Asia-Pacific and having him go up at a worldwide level," Olson said. "I sit on Dion's staff, and it's an exciting time for us.

"With his background in the industry, it is a great fit for our business; we look at what we will be doing in the future."

Spandas Lui attended HP World Tour as a guest of HP.

Topics: PCs, China

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • Really?

    On the very day Samsung announces they have quit the desktop PC business - not going to, have done; not selling it, just shutting it down as unprofitable. This is the day HP announces they still aspire to "win" the PC?

    And in China of all places? They have lost the plot. Apothaker was right about one thing: before the launch of Windows 8 was a good time for HP to sell their PC business while they could still get money for it, as IBM did in the run up to Vista.

    I see HP doing neat Android stuff now, so all hope is not lost. Big company and all that. But man... they need to take a broom and sweep some cobwebs out.
    • Samsung has denied that it's shutting down its PC desktop business.

      And anybody that believes that the PC side of computers is dying, is just not paying attention to what is happening in the entire industry and with the economic factors around the world.

      And, Android is having a few good years, but that will be changing in the next few years.
  • HP's days are numbered

    HP's management has always been too conservative, especially when times were good. Even during the fat years for PC hardware manufacturers, they never "got" the PC market. They lucked out when they won big with inkjet printing. But, unfortunately, that just led them to be even more risk averse and to allow a huge amount of organizational bloat. Now, they have the largest market share in a low margin shrinking market and they're flailing around as usual trying to play catch up in an even lower margin market. Here's a question to ponder: when their position declines even further, will anyone attempt to buy them out, and, if so, who?
    Sir Name
    • HP is still a huge corporation, with hugely diversified products and

      services, and with a huge stack of IP, all of which any other company with deep pockets would be happy to acquire, even MS or Google or some other large enterprise; it could also be acquired by an investment group that sees huge value in what HP controls. HP is not just PCs and devices and printers. Look them up to see what they have as far as products and services and IP.
  • Reverse Onshoring at its Finest

    "China is at the centre of what we are doing right now"

    What is HP now? An American Co.? A Chinese Co. with offices in Oregon & California? Or What?

    In HPs' golden days, one of the factors for a buyer picking them was the Made/Designed in USA moniker, that curried favor with customers worldwide--INCLUDING China. Now, they seem hell-bent on joining the other multinational Pirate Corporations in offshoring all of their production, expecting American & European customers to lap it up like the dogs they think we are.

    Time we, as the buying public, started supporting Onshore production--even boutique manufacturers that try to keep innovation and jobs in the western hemisphere...

    Let HP move their HQ to HK or the mainland and say goodbye and good luck!

    Just another Chinese company...
    Thierry Clicot
    • I would bet anything that you would be the first one that would complain

      about the much higher prices that HP would ask for any of their products, if they brought their manufacturing and operations back to the states.

      If you really knew anything, you'd be complaining about how government forced HP and Apple and MS and IBM and GE and a lot of other large companies to ship jobs and operations to foreign shores. When the initial corporate taxes on corporations are 35%, while all other countries have it much lower, then it's our government which is making companies do so much offshoring. Then, when our government stifles corporations with so many regulations which are also so costly, and those corporations don't have to put up with the same nonsense overseas, then, it's a no-brainer as to why those companies seek to have so much of their production done in foreign lands.

      Do some real research, and stop the simple-thinking. Learn about the real causes of why offshoring is so attractive, and learn about the real culprits.

      Also, if those jobs and shops were to be brought back into the states, most of those companies would have to close shop, or curtail operations, or lay off a huge number of people. As it stands right now, those companies are still operational because there is the option of offshoring.
  • Hp servers still impress

    This Hp server speaks for itself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2FQq_3BmDA
    Corey Davenport