China takes half of Intel's Asia sales ex Japan

China has consolidated its position as Intel Corp's number two market since surpassing Japan last year, and now accounts for more than half of regional consumption ex-Japan, its Asia Pacific chief said on Thursday.

Since overtaking Japan, China's share of Intel's overall sales had climbed steadily, while Japan's had hovered at about nine percent, John Antone, Asia Pacific General Manager for the world's largest microchip maker, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"China has been...a very fast-growing country in terms of unit growth year on year," he said. "Even though it's gotten to be a big one, we're forecasting it'll continue to grow." He declined to give China's specific share of sales, but said the country accounted for more than half of the 20 to 23 percent of Intel's fourth-quarter worldwide sales consumed in Asia excluding Japan.

Antone has previously told Reuters that Intel, whose microprocessors form the brains of most of the world's PCs, expects China to surpass the United States to become the company's biggest market by 2010. He said the United States now accounted for more than 20 percent of worldwide computer sales.

In its fourth-quarter results released on Wednesday, Intel said the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan accounted for about 40 percent of its record US$8.74 billion in quarterly sales. Intel's bullish China outlook comes amid a flurry of activity by the company in one of the world's fastest-growing PC markets, where shipments were expected to reach more than 152 million units in 2003, according to data tracking firm IDC.

News source: People's Daily - China takes half of Intel's Asia sales ex Japan

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