Chinese PC maker Lenovo will sell low-cost computers in rural areas as part of its efforts to refocus on the domestic market in response to weakening demand in the West, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move will involve the launch of 700 new retail stores and 7,800 affiliated sales outlets in villages. Lenovo hopes to take advantage of a yet-to-be-finalized government stimulus plan under which rural residents receive subsidies worth 13% when purchasing household electronics from certain companies. Over the next three years, Lenovo will offer 15 customized computer models priced US$370-515 to 320,000 villages, benefiting 5 million households, said Xia Li, vice president of the company. The subsidy program is only open to domestic companies, which gives Lenovo the edge over Dell and Hewlett-Packard. However, analysts question how much difference the subsidy program will make to the competitive landscape.
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