Xinhua [official Chinese news service] reports: Tsinghua Tongfang Co Ltd, in partnership with microprocessor supplier AMD, will sell PCs to Internet cafes in China. There are roughly 113,800 such hotspots around the country...Tongfang said the Internet cafe's PC market size in China is between 6 million and 10 million units, and these PCs are upgraded every 18 months.
A nice market to serve. In the state's quest to better control what goes on in Internet cafes, it is trying to roll out a nationwide Internet cafe franchise, which will apparently include branded PCs by Tongfang, China's no. 3 PC maker. But Tongfang will only get 20% of the Internet cafe business; 4 other Chinese PC makers will make up the rest (20% each?).
Intel developed its Platform Administration technology (PAT) in 2004 for the Chinese Internet cafe market. PAT is a server-based technology for maintaining large networks of identically configured PCs. John Du, director of the Intel China Research Center in Beijing, says:
"Our sales and marketing guys look at the Internet cafes and say there's a huge opportunity to address problems doing upgrades and maintenance..." "The sales and marketing guys go back to the software service solutions group in Shanghai to develop a solution to help Internet cafes to do upgrades, monitor their PCs, and do maintenance."