By WRAL Tech Wire

BEIJING, China – Lenovo said Monday that it plans to spend about $800 million on a new base to house the development, production and sale of mobile products as the Chinese company tries to expand beyond its core PC business.

The new plant, located in Wuhan, China, will concentrate on the R&D, production and sales of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices that will cover the Chinese and global markets, Lenovo says, targeting $1.59 billion in sales revenue by 2014 and five times that within the next five years.

Lenovo Group and the Wuhan government held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for the facility, which is scheduled to begin operations in October 2013.

Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo Group chairman and CEO, said the company is aggressively moving forward into the PC Plus era. And, he added, with the company’s Mobile Internet Digital Home group actively engaged, Lenovo is accelerating development in smartphones, tablets, and other mobile Internet terminal markets.

“We’re determined to firmly seize the tremendous opportunities for innovation in this market, so that Lenovo’s customers have even more opportunities to own our award-winning products, from PCs to mobile Internet devices,” Yuanging said in a statement. “When it begins operations, the Lenovo (Wuhan) Industrial Base will greatly improve our innovative capability and further optimize our supply chain, giving us a solid foundation to win in a broader market.”

Lenovo’s immediate focus will be to cover the Chinese and global markets.

The facility also has the potential to create nearly 10,000 job opportunities in the coming years, in a variety of related businesses. Included in this number, Lenovo expects within the next few years expects to employee several thousand R&D and management staff in Wuhan, focused solely on advancing R&D in mobile Internet devices and applications.

The company did not specify at this time if any positions would be added in RTP.

At the end of 2011, Lenovo became the world’s second-largest PC maker after being the world’s fastest growing PC maker for nine consecutive quarters. At the same time, Lenovo’s mobile Internet business made significant progress.

The company is now a top-three smart phone maker in China with double-digit market share, and the second-place tablet maker with a market share of 16.5%, far ahead of its competitors in the android market.