HP to Build New Printer Manufacturing Facility in China

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HP on Tuesday signed an agreement to set up a new printer manufacturing facility in the Chinese city of Chongqing, that is expected to produce 60 million ink-jet and laser printers per year once completed.

HP CEO Meg Whitman participated in the signing ceremony, meeting with Chinese officials, according to Chongqing's economic and information technology commission. Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn will build the manufacturing facilities in which HP is investing an unspecified amount.

The manufacturing facility will take two to three years to build, and will be completed over three stages. By 2015, it is expected to annually produce 40 million ink-jet printers, and 20 million laser printers, along with 150 million ink cartridges. The value of the products manufactured annually is expected to be US$25 billion, according to the commission.

HP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. company, which ranks as the leading PC vendor in the world, already operates facilities in Chongqing, including a desktop and notebook manufacturing plant. Last year the company announced it would expand its manufacturing base in Shanghai while also building a regional China headquarters in the city. HP is also working to improve its enterprise business in China by investing more in delivering cloud computing products.

Chongqing, located near southwest China, is also home to the manufacturing and operations facilities of other PC vendors including Acer and Asus. The city is striving to become a major information technology hub in China. But Chongqing has recently become linked to a political scandal involving the city's former party secretary Bo Xilai, who has been removed from his post.

On Tuesday, Bo Xilai's replacement, Zhang Dejiang met with Whitman, according to government press reports. Zhang welcomed HP's investment in Chongqing, noting that the new manufacturing operation was helping to develop China's western region.

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