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Tech History Trivia: Lenovo

Learning about the Brands We Work with

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Compared to some of our other brands (Toshiba and HP, anyone?), Lenovo is a much younger company – founded in 1984. That doesn’t stop it from being a highly successful enterprise, however, and one which we are proud to represent as an authorized seller and service provider. So how did the world’s current top PC maker rise so quickly to its position?

The Early Years

Lenovo started out with a completely different name when it was founded in Beijing by Liu Chuanzhi and a team of ten engineer friends. Very creatively, they named their start-up ‘New Technology Developer, Inc.,’ and got to work designing business technology and trying different development avenues, with varying levels of success. By 1988, however, they had won the highest National Science-Technology Progress Award in China for developing a circuit board that allowed IBM-compatible personal computers to process Chinese characters.

At this point, they realized that they needed a snazzier name and rebranded themselves as ‘Legend.’ In 1990, they launched their own PC to considerable success, leading them to focus all their efforts on that market.

Growth in China: 1990-2004

Over the last decade of the millennium, Legend worked on developing more computers, first releasing a consumer laptop in 1994 and cornering more that 40% of the Chinese computer market. 

In 2000,  Yuanqing Yang was appointed CEO. He had been with the company since 1989, at age 25. The company founder Chuanzhi stepped down from being president to join the board of directors. Under Yang, the company released DeepComp 1800, the 43rd fastest computer in the world at the time.

The IBM Connection

While Legend was experiencing its Chinese growth spurt, American computer behemoth IBM had been steadily developing its line of personal computers and laptops. In 2003, when Legend began to look beyond the Chinese market for more opportunities, the company decided to rename themselves yet again for international branding purposes. Usher in the era of Lenovo.

In 2004, Lenovo paid $1.25 billion to acquire IBM’s personal computer division. This suddenly leapfrogged them to third place in the global PC market, which understandably came with some growing pains. Yang was replaced as CEO by two Americans in a row, but in 2009 returned to (and has remained in) the position. His remarkable character as a corporate leader is evidenced by his decision to distribute several personal bonuses to company employees, instead of keeping them for himself. 

Clever partnerships with World Expo and the Olympic Games gave Lenovo a leg up during the aughts, and by 2013, the company had become number one PC seller in the world, with over 75 million ThinkPads sold. Lenovo has since branched out into servers and smartphones, but their Think and Idea product lines remain some of the most recognizable and reliable PCs on the market. 

If you are a proud owner of a Lenovo Think model and need a tune-up, a repair, or even an upgrade to your machine, don’t hesitate to reach out to ComputerCare today for authorized service.