CSSL Holdings, one of Hongkong's largest computer services companies, is expanding into China, setting up offices in Guangzhou and Shanghai. The company expects to double its customer base on the mainland by the end of the year. Each office is expected to have a staff of 10 by year-end. Total investment is slated at between $3 million and $5 million. According to managing director and co-founder John Clough, the range of its computers means the company will have to be more adaptable than many of the other computer firms on the mainland. The mid-range machines sold by CSSL, generally made by IBM, were usually bundled with software, training, consultancy and modifications so the whole package suited the customer's needs, Mr Clough said. Hardware ordinarily made up just half of the contract value, he added. CSSL's approach would have to be more sophisticated than other companies, whose main interest was in providing boxes of chips, he said. Each China office will have a training room with 12 terminals, with senior customer management being flown to Hongkong or Singapore for extra training. There was a particular problem in selling to joint ventures, said Mr Frank Hung Hing-fat, general manager of the newly established CSSL China. The Western partner might take a sophisticated approach to buying the system, wanting much training and systems support, while the Chinese side might be less willing or unable to get a hard currency budget for ongoing staff training or software maintenance. CSSL, which had a turnover of about $260 million last year, is 25 per cent owned by IBM, with the rest a mixture of private and corporate investors. It dominates the market for IBM mid-range systems in Hongkong. CSSL's expansion into China follows moves into Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.