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Lenovo, Visa to form alliance
By Liu Baijia (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-23 08:45

Chinese computer giant Lenovo Group made another big move in its global expansion by partnering with another official Olympic sponsor Visa International yesterday in Beijing.

The five-year alliance between Lenovo and Visa International is the first strategic partnership between the Olympic partners (TOPs) for the International Olympic Committee.

Lenovo became the first TOP sponsor from China in March, but expanding in the global market via the sponsorship is an unprecedented challenge. The pairing will help Lenovo gain experience from Visa in Olympics-related marketing.

"Co-operating with TOP sponsors on the Olympic platform, developing markets together, creating business opportunities, and providing excellent products and services to customers are the major steps of our Olympic strategy," said Wang Xiaoyang, senior vice-president of the Chinese computer giant.

Thomas Shepard, executive vice-president of Visa's global marketing partnerships and sponsorship, said his organization will share its experience of 18 years of Olympic sponsorship with Lenovo.

The Bank of China, an official sponsor for the 2008 Beijing Olympics organization committee, will issue co-branded credit cards with the two companies.

Besides the usual credit card functions, cardholders will be able to buy Lenovo computers in its over 100 brand stores in Beijing and Shanghai without paying interest for a set period of time.

Visa International will also provide benefits to its worldwide customers through IBM personal computer distribution networks, which was acquired by Lenovo on December 8.

Lenovo will become the preferred information technology equipment vendor for Visa International worldwide.

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