Fri, Oct 03, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Konica Minolta now targeting China's laser-printer market

AFP , TOKYO

Japanese office-equipment maker Konica Minolta Holdings Inc said yesterday that it planned to expand its printer business in China through an alliance with Legend Group Ltd (聯想集團), China's leading personal computer maker.

"We are planning to supply 80,000 monochrome and 10,000 color laser-printers over the next two years to Legend on an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) basis," said Yutaka Yoshikai, spokesman for the Japanese firm.

"We hold about a 7 percent share of the Chinese laser-printer market. We want to expand it to 25 percent by the end of March 2005," he said.

In May Konica Minolta started supplying Legend with monochrome and color models, both of which are made at a factory in Guangdong Province, he said.

The low-priced models are usually sold to household users in Japan, the US and Europe, but the Japanese firm expects demand in China to grow among corporate and government users, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said yesterday.

"We think the color laser-printer market in China will expand rapidly in the near future. We want to capture that market by showcasing our technology," Yoshikai said.

China's laser-printer market is estimated at slightly less than 1 million units a year, with monochrome models accounting for the majority, he said.

Legend commands a roughly 15 percent share of the Chinese laser-printer market, trailing market leader Hewlett-Packard Co, which boasts a 60 percent share.

The tie-up with Konica Minolta is expected to help the Chinese firm narrow the gap with the US company, the Nihon Keizai said.

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