Foreign firms cut laptop prices in China

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 March, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 March, 2002, 12:00am

The recent decision by some foreign computer manufacturers to cut prices of their laptop computers in China by 30 per cent on average is expected to crank up the pressure on domestic manufacturers.

The price cuts on various models of Compaq, Toshiba and other foreign brands are considered to be the biggest ever seen at foreign laptop outlets in China. Vendors in China
face stiff competition in the laptop business, which is still at the fledgling stage.

However, even though prices on foreign brands have dropped by as much as 50 per cent over the past year, they are still considered precious top-end products in a market
dominated by domestic vendors like Legend and Founder.

Research house International Data Corporation (IDC) said laptop sales in China have been growing by about 40 per cent to 50 per cent annually, but the penetration rate was still too low because laptop computers were too expensive for the mass market, especially when consumers could obtain desktop models at a much lower price.

Compaq cut the price of its laptop computers by around 12 per cent to 14 per cent in China. The price of its Presario1714SC and Presario 2700SC dropped 3,000 yuan and 4,000 yuan respectively, according to Zhong Wenbin of Compaq China.

Japanese manufacturer Toshiba cut the price of its laptops by an even greater margin.

Some analysts have attributed the price cuts to China's lower tariffs instituted as a means of letting China fulfil its World Trade Organisation commitments now that it is a

China drastically cut tariffs on laptop imports from 13.3 per cent to around 5 per cent.