This article needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. Beijing, China, and Morrisville, North Carolina, United States. Lenovo has operations in more than 60 countries and sells its products in around 160 countries. Lenovo was founded in Beijing in November 1984 as Legend and was incorporated in Hong Kong in 1988. Lenovo entered the smartphone market in 2012 and as of 2014 was the largest vendor of smartphones in Mainland China. Lenovo is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Hang Seng China-Affiliated Corporations Index, often referred to as “Red Chips”.
Liu Chuanzhi founded Lenovo on 1 November 1984 with a group of ten engineers in Beijing with 200,000 yuan. The Chinese government approved Lenovo’s incorporation on the same day. Lenovo, indicates the first meeting in preparation for starting the company was held on 17 October of the same year. Eleven people, the entirety of the initial staff, attended. Their first significant effort, an attempt to import televisions, failed. The group rebuilt itself within a year by conducting quality checks on computers for new buyers. Lenovo soon started developing a circuit board that would allow IBM-compatible personal computers to process Chinese characters.
This product was Lenovo’s first major success. Lenovo also tried and failed to market a digital watch. Liu said, “Our management team often differed on which commercial road to travel. In May 1988, Lenovo placed its first recruitment advertisement. The ad was placed on the front page of the China Youth News. Such ads were quite rare in China then. Out of the 500 respondents, 280 were selected to take a written employment exam. 120 of these candidates were interviewed in person. Although interviewers initially only had authority to hire 16 people, 58 were given offers.
Liu Chuanzhi received government permission to form a subsidiary in Hong Kong and to move there along with five other employees. Liu’s father, already in Hong Kong, furthered his son’s ambitions through mentoring and facilitating loans. Liu moved to Hong Kong in 1988. To save money during this period, Liu and his co-workers walked instead of taking public transportation. To keep up appearances, they rented hotel rooms for meetings. Prior to its IPO, many analysts were optimistic about Lenovo. The company was praised for its good management, strong brand recognition, and growth potential. Analysts also worried about Lenovo’s profitability. When Lenovo was first listed, its managers thought the only purpose of going public was to raise capital.
They had little understanding of the rules and responsibilities that went along with running a public company. Before Lenovo conducted its first secondary offering in 1997, Liu proudly announced the company’s intent to mainland newspapers only to have its stock halted for two days by regulators to punish his statement. Mary Ma, Lenovo’s chief financial officer from 1990 to 2007, was in charge of investor relations. Under her leadership, Lenovo successfully integrated Western-style accountability into its corporate culture. Lenovo’s emphasis on transparency earned it a reputation for the best corporate governance among mainland Chinese firms. All major issues regarding its board, management, major share transfers, and mergers and acquisitions were fairly and accurately reported. Lenovo’s new logo, created by Saatchi, New York, can be changed by its advertising agencies and sales partners, within restrictions, to fit the context. It has a lounging “e” and is surrounded by a box that can be changed to use a relevant scene, solid color, or photograph. Lenovo’s Chief Marketing Officer David Roman said, “When we first started looking at it, it wasn’t about just a change in typography or the look of the logo. 650 million in five-year bonds denominated in Chinese yuan.