Around the Net

Rights Protests Upset Lenovo's $100-Million Olympic Plans

The Beijing Olympics were intended to be a coming-out party for Lenovo, the once state-run computer giant that emerged as a symbol of China's global ambitions when it purchased the PC division of IBM in 2005. But the intensity of protests over China's human rights policies has raised questions about whether the $100-million-plus it has invested in sponsoring the Games and related marketing will provide the massive brand boost it's counting on.

Lenovo--the world's fourth-largest PC maker--is one of three companies that paid millions of extra dollars for the rights to sponsor the torch relay, along with Coca-Cola and Samsung Group. Executives say they expected some protests, but have been caught off guard by the ferocity of the attacks on the torch by protesters.

The Olympics come just as Lenovo is making an aggressive push into the U.S. market with a flashy new line of computers aimed at consumers. The new IdeaPad product line--which includes red, aluminum-alloy cases and beefed-up gaming features--is part of a major strategic shift for Lenovo, as it tries to compete head-on with the likes of Hewlett-Packard and Apple.



Read the whole story at The Wall Street Journal »

Next story loading loading..