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Dell scores US$10m public sector deal in China

Continuing its momentum with the Chinese government in recent years, Dell has sealed a major PC contract with education authorities in the mainland.

Continuing its momentum with the Chinese government in recent years, Dell has sealed a major PC contract with education authorities in the mainland.

The country's education ministry has purchased 16,000 Dell OptiPlex 170L desktops to be deployed in primary and secondary schools in Beijing.

The deal, estimated to be worth RMB$79 million (US$10 million), is one the ministry's largest IT equipment purchasing contracts to date and reaffirms its effort to raise computer literacy among teachers and students.

According to previous reports, the Chinese government has designated close to 60,000 teachers across China as specialists for IT training.

In 2003, 6.73 million PCs have been deployed in primary and secondary schools in China, up six-fold from 1.65 million in 1999. Ninety-four percent of high schools in the mainland now conduct technology courses as part of their curricula, while the figure stands at 68 percent and 11 percent among junior high and primary schools respectively.

For computer makers like Dell, the trend marks further revenue opportunities on top of the burgeoning local enterprise and consumer IT markets. In recent years, industry watchers have cited Dell's inroads in China’s public sector as a key factor for its rising PC sales in the region.

ZDNet China's Wang Hao reports from Beijing. Additional reporting by CNETAsia.