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Lenovo made its reputation in China as a the provider of choice for a wealth of business accounts. For much of its history, it focused on its business machines, which made its purchase of IBM (International Business Machines) in 2005 seem highly logical.

But as Lenovo and IBM worked to merge their two companies, struggling to overcome the challenges of combining two unique corporate cultures, their competitors noticed that the game was changing. Low cost producers such as Acer were starting to dominate the PC market with inexpensive options for personal users, who then took some of their preferences to the office. More recently, Lenovo fell a bit behind the curve in the emergence of smartphones and tablets.

Determined not to be caught unaware again, Lenovo has initiated a new round of business acquisitions, along with expansions in various geographic markets. For example, the economic slowdown in China is shrinking Lenovo’s home market, so it recently purchased a Brazilian electronics group that should further its footing in Brazil. In other countries where personal computer usage is really starting to take off, such as Indonesia, Argentina, and Mexico, Lenovo is refocusing its efforts to ensure it is among the first movers.

Even as it diversifies its geographic reach, Lenovo also is expanding its product lines. It has introduced a tablet, and its smartphones already have earned a 13.1 percent market share in China. It also continues to innovate its smart TV, determined to offer consumers a means to surf the Web from their television screens.

In the meantime, Lenovo’s public announcements have little to say about its business arm.

Source: Yun-Hee Kim, “Lenovo Group Sets Its Sights Beyond PCs,” The New York Times, September 9, 2012.