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Dell will significantly raise its stakes in the booming economies of China and India as the company braces for lackluster growth in the US.

The world's number two PC vendor said it's developing new product models made specifically with Asian buyers in mind, and will increase its presence in the region.

"This year, we plan to introduce 50 per cent more notebook platforms than we introduced last year, including exciting new products aimed exactly at Chinese customer needs," CEO Michael Dell said at a news conference in Beijing today.

Dell said the PCs will meet "specifically the requirements that we see in countries like China and India," according to the Associated Press.

The company will also increase computer components purchased in China by 28 per cent this year to $23bn. It expects expand its presence to 1,200 cities in China by the end of this year — up from only 45 in 2007. Dell previously built up its Chinese armada by agreeing to sell computers through the local retail mega-chain Gome.

In its fourth quarter, Dell's sales in China grew by 54 per cent year-over-year. That compares with a 20 per cent domestic growth rate. Dell may not be number one, but it can still do the math.

"As far as the US goes, I think the US will be OK, but not the fastest-growing. We expect more growth in Asia," said Dell.

The company said it will also donate $210,000 to build six education centers in China to teach computer proficiency to children of migrant workers. Better make that laptop proficiency. ®

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