According to North Carolina newspaper News & Observer, Chinese computer giant Lenovo is moving some manufacturing to a new facility in Whitsett, NC. The North Carolina plant will manufacture ThinkPad laptops (Lenovo’s signature models) and ThinkCentre desktops.
Lenovo grossed about $30 billion in 2011, so a tiny $2 million plant with 115 workers will not change where the majority of Lenovo computers are assembled. While the decision seems symbolic, it may make business sense for certain industries with government ties. Hysteria over Chinese backdoors installed in certain systems have led to several laws and regulations requiring computers to be assembled in the United States. The production of Lenovo computers in North Carolina is a minor step, but the fact that fewer computers have to be shipped across oceans is certainly a good thing. The next step after US-made computers? Artisanal, small-batch laptops. Lenovo, make it happen!