RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Lenovo Chairman Yang Yuanqing is optimistic about the company’s chances to grow internationally in consumer sales despite rival Acer’s move to acquire Gateway.

"The PC industry has always been an intensely competitive business,” Yang said in an interview with Reuters at an economic forum in China. “We are not afraid of competition."

Acer is buying Gateway for $710 million and also acquired Gateway’s right of first refusal to purchase Packard Bell in Belgium. Lenovo has been in talks to buy Packard Bell as part of its efforts to establish a bigger presence in Europe.

“Our target is not just to defend market share,” Yang told Reuters, “we want to gain market share.”

Lenovo, which bases most of its operations in China but has its headquarters in Morrisville, is making global efforts to expand sales to consumers. Its primary focus has been enterprise buyers.

Yang, who has been called China’s Bill Gates, is leading the consumer effort. New laptops and PCs will be introduced next year with customers’ demands in mind, Reuters reported.

"If they want more stylish products, then absolutely we will build more stylish products,” Yang said.

He certainly has set a major goal for consumer sales. Yang wants Lenovo to increase its global consumer market share from 3 to 5 percent to 40 percent. That percentage is Lenovo’s share in the China consumer PC market where it dominates all sales with a 36 percent share.

"Absolutely, it will be the same as in China," Yang told Reuters about the Lenovo sales goal.

And if Lenovo increases consumer sales, he said Lenovo could offer mobile phones, servers and other devices internationally, not just in China.