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Lenovo boss sees consumerist future

News, 01 July 2015
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HONG KONG: China's rapidly expanding middle class and the Chinese government's push to develop a consumer-led economy offer huge opportunities, the chairman of Legend Holdings has said.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Liu Chuanzhi outlined plans for his privately-owned conglomerate to expand its portfolio to meet an ever-growing appetite for better consumer products and services.

Legend, which is perhaps best-known as the parent company of tech vendor Lenovo, also spans a wide range of business areas from real estate to healthcare and energy. It is also a decade since Lenovo's ground-breaking acquisition of IBM's personal computer business in 2005.

Liu said that with more and more Chinese experiencing popular goods and services when travelling abroad, this would spur similar demand at home.

His next focus, he said, would be on any business, in China or overseas, that can help Chinese people "eat, dress, live and travel better".

"We currently focus more on consumer-related businesses as I feel the Chinese government is very serious about how to get its people to spend so we can boost domestic consumption, which is really important to national economic growth," he said.

To that end, Legend is investing in China Auto Rental, the country's top car rental service provider, as well as Didi Kuaidi, a Chinese taxi-booking app sometimes compared to Uber, the controversial US cab service.

Innovation is the key to success when seeking to appeal to Chinese consumers, he said, just as transparency is vital for Chinese brands hoping to expand overseas and win over international consumers in their own markets.

"For Legend, I think we should dare to try more new things," said 71-year-old Liu. "For China as a country, innovation is all about trying new things too."

Data sourced from South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff

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