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China tech

Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi set to retire

75-year-old to bow out after more than 30 years in charge of PC maker

Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi is to step down as chairman of PC maker's parent company Legend Holding.    © Reuters

BEIJING -- Liu Chuanzhi, the 75-year-old entrepreneur and founder of Lenovo, will step down as chairman of Legend Holdings, the sole controlling shareholder of the Chinese computer manufacturer, by the end of this week, according to a report by Beijing News.

Hong Kong-listed Legend Holdings will officially announce the news on Wednesday after the Chinese markets close. According to multiple local media outlets, 50-year-old Ning Min, currently senior vice president and chief financial officer at the holding company, will take up Liu's position as chairman.

Liu founded Legend Group in Beijing in 1984, with capital of about 200,000 yuan ($28,500), together with 10 coworkers from the Chinese Academy of Science, where Liu worked as an engineer-administrator. The company was then rebranded as Lenovo in 2003 for its overseas expansion.

In 2005, Lenovo completed the acquisition of IBM's personal computer business, becoming the third-largest PC maker in the world -- a landmark deal that many observers consider to be a turning point for China's technology industry.

In 2011, Liu stepped down as Lenovo's chairman to focus more on the operations of the parent company. Legend Holdings covers multiple fields including IT, financial services, innovative consumption and services, agriculture and food, and new materials, according to its website. At the same time, Lenovo became the world's second-largest PC vendor, announcing a market share of 13.5% in its second fiscal quarter report that year.

It is now the world's largest PC vendor, with a market share of 24.7% as of the third quarter of 2019, according to research company Gartner, followed by HP with 22.4% and Dell with 16.6%.

Legend Holdings' stock price closed up 1.92% at 17.02 Hong Kong dollars ($2.20), giving it a market capitalization of HK$40.1 billion ($5.1 billion).

KrASIA is a digital media company focused on technology-driven businesses and trends across the Asia-Pacific region. It is part of 36Kr, a tech news portal based in Beijing. Nikkei has a minority stake in 36Kr.

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