One of China’s most ambitious long-distance education projects is set
to get under way now that it has been awarded to three high-tech
, PC-maker Lenovo and server manufacturer Dawning
got the nod this week from the Hebei Education Bureau for 26,000 PCs and
servers to be installed in elementary and middle schools in rural areas.
The program is Part of China’s “informatilization” initiative and is
designed to help bridge the gap between Eastern and Western China,
officials said. Originally announced in October 2004, the pilot program
is launching in the cities of Zhangjiakou, Chengde and Baoding. It is expected
to benefit at least 200,000 students.
“The remote education project is a very important project for both
the Hebei province and the whole country, as the central government
chooses Hebei to be the demo site for nationwide remote education,” said
Yan Chunlai, assistant supervisor of the Hebei Education Bureau.
Under the contract, every computerized classroom will get one AMD
Opteron processor-based Dawning Tiankuo A Series i200-A server and about
30 AMD Sempron processor-based Lenovo Qitian M 6200M PCs.
“[This] will help hundreds of thousands of students improve their
education by using our products to enhance their learning experience,”
Karen Guo, corporate vice president of AMD and president of AMD Greater
China said in a statement. “This win is a testament to our commitment to
develop the China market, and highlights our vision of succeeding with
With one of the world’s hottest semiconductor markets, an abundant
labor force for skilled manufacturing and world-class engineering
talent, China is a chance for the three companies to shine.
AMD entered the China market in 1993 and has expanded quickly. The
company used the country as one of its introductory launching pads for 64-bit
computing. In March 2004, AMD China also received approval to establish
a test, mark and package (TMP) facility in Suzhou, China, focusing on CPU
production. It was AMD’s second investment in the Suzhou Industrial
Park, following the establishment of a Flash memory TMP facility in
1995, now known as FASL.
Currently, AMD’s business partners in China include local companies
such as Lenovo, Founder, Thunis, Amoi, Dawning, Digital China and BLX.
Lenovo has made a name for itself internationally, with its purchase
of IBM’s PC division. The deal also establishes a five-year
brand licensing agreement that names IBM as the preferred services and
customer financing provider to Lenovo. In turn, Lenovo said it would
supply IBM all the desktop and laptop PCs it needs when selling
computers to its small and medium business clients.
Executives with Lenovo are already expressing plans to expand to the
North American and European markets.
New York-based Dawning has some experience in China courtesy of its
partner Easidata in the Guangdong Province, most recently with that
region’s Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine.