Acer starts making laptops at new factory in China

The world's second largest PC maker will find contractors to make 30 percent to 40 percent of its notebooks and netbooks

Acer, the world’s second largest PC maker, opened a factory in the Chinese industrial city of Chongqing on Thursday and expects it to produce 30 percent to 40 percent of its laptops by the end of the year, the company said.

The Taiwanese firm is managing the plant and has hired contractors already on the ground to come in and manufacture its self-branded notebook and netbook PCs at the "global IT manufacturing center," Acer said in a statement. The plant will raise Acer’s profile in China and put it near component suppliers, the statement said. That would translate to lower costs and higher production speeds.

A company representative declined to estimate the factory cost or capacity. After Acer announced plans for the factory in November, official Chinese media quoted company leaders saying the investment would come to US$150 million and that the plant would produce 40 million units per year.

Acer said in November it had chosen Chongqing for its infrastructure, available labor and government support for the project.

For years the Chinese government has encouraged foreign firms to locate in the country's western region to speed its development, offering in some cases breaks on taxes and land prices. Municipal leaders in Chongqing, which has a population of 31 million, have spearheaded much of the industrial city's technology growth.

Hewlett-Packard also has plans to make PCs in Chongqing, while Acer's Taiwanese rival, Asustek Computer, said earlier this year it would set up an operations center in Chongqing by 2015 to manage manufacturing by contractors of up to 20 million of its self-branded notebook and tablet PCs a year.

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