Japanese printer and copying machine manufacturer Fuji Xerox has experienced steady growth in the first year after buying Xerox's China operations. Yoshihiro Kawada, chairman of Fuji Xerox Greater China, said the mainland had growth in profit before tax of 30 per cent and revenue growth of 15 per cent. It shipped 3,500 machines in the Greater China region last year. 'We introduced a lot of Japanese products for Greater China customers. We design the products there, manufacture there and sell there,' he said. Fuji Xerox bought the China and Hong Kong operations from Xerox for US$550 million cash in December 2000. The company has 3,600 workers in the region. Mr Kawada expected profit growth of 150 per cent. He said colour machines had a growth rate of 400 per cent last year. 'It has a huge demand and we want to push forward in the coming year. Chinese customers are starting to like the digital machines, because they are not just for copying, but can [send faxes and scan] and print as well. 'Digitalisation and colourisation are our major practices this year.' The company has three research and development centres in China - two in Shanghai and one in Shenzhen. The software development centre in Shanghai is responsible for producing solutions for digital printers so when customers scan materials, the materials can be automatically sorted with an index in the computer archive. The Shanghai lab has 60 employees and will increase that to 200 in a couple of years. Mr Kawada said the company faced increasing competition from mainland manufacturers. 'I think the local companies are getting stronger and stronger, what we do is shake hands with them and work together.' Fuji Xerox has been partnering with personal computer makers Legend and Founder as original equipment manufacturers to provide solutions for their printers. 'We supply the software and they sell the products, it is a win-win situation.' The Hong Kong operation, which has 500 workers, managed a profit growth of 17 per cent last year and Mr Kawada expected an increase of 15 per cent this year. Debby Chan, marketing and operations support director, said the Hong Kong operation had had no lay-offs and employees were rewarded a bonus during the past year. The firm, according to International Data Corp, was the market leader with 55 per cent share, Ms Chan said.