Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of WRAL.com.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Lenovo is getting the kind of promotion, exposure and credibility a company can’t buy courtesy of Fast Company magazine.

In what can be described only as a glowing report, Fast Company devotes more than 4,000 words as well as photos, a slide slow and a chart showing the breadth of the corporate empire and where its leadership lives to the Lenovo saga.

The story and a graphic with it mention Raleigh, not Morrisville, as where Lenovo operates its executive headquarters. But that’s just a nit. Fast Company’s reporting is well worth reading for anyone who wants to understand and perhaps compete with what is becoming a tech juggernaut. 

“In hypergrowth China, Lenovo is Apple and Starbucks combined,” a headline says in a web article touting the magazine piece. The latter focuses on Lenovo’s “Protect and Attack” strategy.

[LENOVO ARCHIVE: Check out years of Lenovo stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire by clicking here.]

Obviously, writer Chuck Salter, who traveled to China to report the story, is deeply impressed.

“What I discovered is a company like no other: a product of Communist China (the government still owns 36% of its parent, Legend Holdings) that is heavily influenced by the West and boasts an international workforce of 27,000 employees and customers in more than 160 countries,” he wrote.

“Lenovo is ubiquitous in its homeland, with more than 15,000 stores in cities and even the smallest villages. That’s almost as many locations as Starbucks has worldwide, nearly twice as many locations as Wal-Mart, and roughly 14,700 more stores than Apple has.”

“This Is Lenovo’s Moment”

His web post touting the main article sums up Lenovo this way:

“Which computer maker this year introduced three new tablets, a speedy new smartphone, an edgy new global branding campaign, and the launch of an outer space science competition with Google? Oh, and it also engineered its thinnest and fastest laptop – 10-second or less startup time – while producing record financial results and outgrowing the competition for the eighth straight quarter,” he wrote.

“If you guessed Apple, HP, or Dell, try again. It’s Lenovo, the computer giant you’ve heard of but probably don’t know much about. For years the company focused on the enterprise market–big companies, school systems, government agencies–and China. Now it’s determined to become that country’s first global consumer brand. ‘For Those Who Do’ is their Nike-like tagline.”

In an interview, CEO and newly renamed chairman Yang Yuanqing tells the writer:

“This is Lenovo’s moment.”

The company clearly aims to be the world’s No. 1 PC maker and has leader HP in its sights. Diversification is taking the firm into smartphones, tablets, mobile devices, TV and videogames. Acquisitions and deals have given Lenovo huge footprints in Japan and Europe.

And now comes the glowing press.

Read the full magazine story here and the web preview here.

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