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China claims top spot in global PC market

By Gao Yuan | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-03 01:30

China became the world's largest personal computer market for the first time on an annual basis last year amid weaker global demand, a research firm said, adding that the nation is likely to retain the position in the coming years.

The nation's PC shipments in 2012 hit 69 million units, surpassing the United States, which had annual shipments of 66 million, according to IHS iSuppli.

China's PC market is projected to grow 3 to 4 percent this year, it added.

The Chinese PC market has "distinct characteristics" compared with other countries as the country's rural market has great potential to fuel sales in the desktop PC segment, said Peter Lin, senior analyst for computer platforms at IHS.

While desktop PC shipments lagged notebook shipments around the world, each of the segments accounted for 50 percent of the sales in the Chinese market last year.

"The equal share of shipments for desktops and notebooks in China is unusual because consumers in most regions tend to prefer more agile mobile PCs, rather than the bulky, stationary desktops," Lin said.

The relatively large percentage of desktop PC shipments in China is because of huge demand in the country's rural areas. These consumers tend to prefer desktop PCs, said Lin.

Earlier this year, the government announced plans to boost infrastructure construction in rural areas over the next decade. The initiative, with a total investment estimated at 40 trillion yuan ($6.5 trillion), is expected to lift personal incomes in rural areas.

According to Lin, the PC market will benefit from the massive investment plan, but shipments of desktops will not surpass those of notebooks until 2014.

In addition, China's commercial market was able to drive about half of the PC shipments, IHS said.

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