The territory's biggest information technology company, IBM China/Hong Kong, has appointed mainland-based senior executive Timothy Cheung as its new general manager. The 18-year IBM veteran replaces Cordelia Chung, who was recently named vice-president for business partners at the larger IBM Asia-Pacific organisation. Mr Cheung takes over responsibility for the growth and strategic development of IBM's local hardware, software and services business units amid increased challenges from Hewlett-Packard. Mr Cheung previously served as general manager of the IBM Technology Group in Greater China and as IBM Greater China Group director for financial services. He is credited with a number of achievements at the group, including the development of IBM's China marketing organisation, the launch of ibm.com and telesales operations in the mainland, and forming IBM's south China branch. 'Over the years, Timothy has made significant contributions to IBM operations in Greater China,' said Henry Chow, general manager at IBM Greater China Group. 'I am confident that he will lead the company to achieve new records of success in Hong Kong.' IBM opened for business in Hong Kong in April 1957 and has since become an established technology supplier to the commercial and government sectors. It has been the city's leading PC vendor since 1998, despite stiff challenges from HP and other top computer suppliers. In his new role, Mr Cheung is expected to oversee IBM's efforts to increase its IT services business in Hong Kong. Research firm Gartner forecast demand for IT services in Hong Kong will grow 8.3 per cent a year and become a US$1.8 billion market next year. IBM was last year awarded one of the largest e-government projects in Greater China to date when it secured a contract worth almost HK$350 million to help the Hong Kong government revamp its ageing financial management and information system. The system to be installed by IBM will replace the Treasury's ledger accounting and financial information system, which has been used since 1983. The change is expected to strengthen the government's adoption of a new reporting regime aimed at better reflecting Hong Kong's financial performance.