Lenovo bought I.B.M.’s personal computer business in 2005 and has plans to use its Olympics campaign as a launching pad for its brand.
Lenovo’s largest shareholder is the Chinese government and its biggest operations are in Beijing, Americans who watch ads during the Olympics this August will see only a company that wants to show off its technology and not its Chinese roots.
“In China, the advertising will be very much leveraging the heritage of a Chinese company,” said Glen Gilbert, Lenovo’s vice president for brand management. But “in the U.S., we won’t be making direct mention of that.”
The strategy makes sense in light of the political outcry over Beijing as an Olympics host. The Olympic torch has served as a lightning rod for public anger over China’s policies in Tibet and Lenovo was the company that designed it. The torch is scheduled to arrive in Tibet on Saturday,its stay there has been reduced to one day.