Legend Group was the top seller of personal computers in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, in the fourth quarter of last year, according to a preliminary report from research firm International Data Corp (IDC). China's No 1 personal computer maker shipped 903,225 units in the region, IDC said. The shipments came with a market share of 13.2 per cent, up from 12.2 per cent in 2001, representing a year-on-year growth of 24.4 per cent. Another mainland manufacturer, Founder Group, ranked fifth with a market share of 4.5 per cent and an annual growth rate of 31.2 per cent. IDC analyst Kitty Fok said: 'China is leading the regional growth. It accounted for as much as 45 per cent of the entire [Asia-Pacific] market over 2002. If you want to succeed in the region, you need to have enough presence [in China].' Legend was followed by Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell Computer, which had market shares of 8.7, 6.3 per cent and 5.8 per cent, respectively. South Korean giant Samsung was sixth with a share of 4 per cent. 'For Dell, it was a good performance as it has a strong mainland presence. China accounts for more than 40 per cent of its shipments in the region,' Ms Fok said. Total personal computer shipments in the Asia-Pacific region reached 6.84 million units in the last quarter, up 15 per cent from 2001. IDC expects shipments to the China market will grow by about 18 per cent this year - up from a growth of 16 per cent last year - and against regional growth of 16 per cent and worldwide growth of 4 per cent. It forecast China shipments this year would reach 13.5 million units, surpassing Japan with 13 million. 'In China, education and e-government are driving the growth in the country but the business sector is not performing particularly well,' IDC said. Ms Fok said: 'The regional growth rate will be higher if the global economy is not so bad. India still has a low penetration rate, while Korea, which is a technologically advanced country, should have strong replacement growth. Their pick-up rates were not as high as we expected.'