In 1984, with only $25,000 in Chinese government funding and a dusty 20-square-metre bungalow as their headquarters, a small group of scientists in Beijing founded a firm called New Technology Developer Inc.
Thirty years later, the tech company — which went on to become Legend and later Lenovo — is the world's biggest personal computer maker, and has just completed two major deals with IBM and Google that analysts say will help it to diversify away from the sagging PC market and boost its expansion overseas.
Lenovo's$2.3 billion purchase of IBM's low-end server business and its $2.91 billion acquisition of Motorola from Google are evidence of the Chinese tech giant's "global ambitions", said Jean-Francois Dufour at DCA Chine-Analyse.
"Just as iPhones and iPads have overtaken Macs in commercial importance for Apple, smartphones and tablets are expected to replace PCs in part for Lenovo," said Dufour, who called the firm "the pioneer of Chinese companies' global offensive".
The back-to-back deals are all the more significant because of their timing, coming just as US President Barack Obama noted in his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday that "for the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world's number one place to invest; America is".
With Chinese investment in the US doubling to $14 billion in 2013, a larger and larger share of that capital is coming from America's rival across the Pacific — a fact unmentioned by Obama in his speech.
From its humble beginnings, Lenovo has charted an impressive course in the personal computer market. (AFP)