Founded in 1984, Legend Holdings, under the leadership of Mr. Liu Chuanzhi, has
grown through its pursuit of higher goals. It has undergone three stages of development:
expanding from a single IT operation into diversified businesses, and then transforming
into an international conglomerate.
With the mission of serving the nation and society through developing successful
industries and businesses, it is committed to building leading and great enterprises
in multiple industries.
Over its 30 years of development, Legend Holdings has achieved breakthroughs
in four aspects:
Firstly, explored and pioneered a Chinese way of high-tech commercialization under
research institutions, including Lenovo’s practice of “trade-manufacturing-technology,”
venture capital investment in the next step, and then the “Legend Star” program,
which all facilitated and propelled the growth of technology enterprises in China.
Secondly, at home base of China, it competed against multinational PC giants and
prevailed, facilitating the proliferation of a large group of domestic IT companies.
Later, Lenovo’s successful M&A case earned valuable confidence/learning for other
Chinese companies going global.
Thirdly, reformed the State-owned High-tech Enterprises’ share ownership structure,
making employees the owners of the Company and laying a solid foundation for the
long-term development of the Company. Also, it set a pioneering example of ownership
reform for other tech companies under research institutions.
Fourthly, summarized a set of management philosophies and approaches centering on
the “Three Management Keys,” which serve as its core competitiveness; trained and
nurtured a group of leaders for divisions/subsidiaries, which stay in multiple industry
Summary: In 1984, Mr. Liu Chuanzhi and 10 other researchers started Legend with
200,000 yuan (US$85,948) of funding from the Computing Institute under the Chinese
Academy of Sciences (CAS).
They first gained capital and enterprise management experience through trade practices.
They managed to accomplish achievements consecutively, including the creation of
their first popular product, a Chinese-language character card for computers, followed
by the launch of their own brand of personal computers. The efforts lead to continuous
Legend computers gained the largest market share in the Chinese mainland in 1997
and secured the top position in Asia (excluding Japan) in 2000. In addition, Legend’s
IT product distribution business has been maintaining its No. 1 position in China.
Meanwhile, Legend summarized and developed a set of management philosophies and
approaches centering around the “Three Management Keys” (“to build a strong leadership
team, develop the correct strategies and take people with you”). In an innovative
approach, the company reformed share ownership structure, which brought vigor and
vitality to the company. Meanwhile, it trained and nurtured younger generations
of leaders, including Yang Yuanqing, Guo Wei, Zhu Linan, etc. as well as a large
number of high-caliber talent. Through continuous exploration and practice, it found
a unique way (“trade-manufacturing-technology”) to commercialize high-tech research
results, laid a solid foundation for its further development, and gained experience
for China’s high-tech industry.
In 1984, Legend was founded.
In 1984, with 200,000 yuan (US$85,948) of funding from the Computing Institute under
the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Mr. Liu Chuanzhi and 10 other researchers
founded the CAS Computing Institute New Technology Development Company (predecessor
of Legend Holdings) in a front gate reception room. The group of pioneers had little
knowledge of market and business, and started their explorations at the start of
China’s reform and opening-up. They secured the rights of managing human resources,
finance, and major business decisions from the Computing Institute.
In 1984, Mr. Liu Chuanzhi and 10 other researchers started Legend in a 20-square-meter
front gate reception room of the Computing Institute under the Chinese Academy of
In 1985, Legend ventured into the distribution business.
Starting in 1985 as a sales agent for IBM, AST and HP, Legend began to accumulate
capital and learn about the management and operations of international enterprises.
This laid a foundation for the development of its own brand of personal computers.
In 1986, Legend developed its first major product, the Legend Chinese Character
Card, which won the national “First Prize for Progress in Science and Technology.”
In 1986, Legend developed its first major product, the Legend Chinese Character
In 1988, Legend Hong Kong was founded.
In 1988, Legend launched its first public recruitment campaign.
In May 1988, Legend published a recruitment advertisement on a key page of the China
Youth Daily to launch the company’s first public recruitment campaign. Some graduates
with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including Yang Yuanqing and Guo Wei, joined
Legend at that time. These new hires injected new energy into the company and later
became the backbone of Legend.
In 1992, Legend cooperated with the China Construction Bank to provide loans to
72 young employees to buy their own apartments while Legend served as the guarantee.
The beneficiaries included Yang Yuanqing and Guo Wei.
In 1990, Legend’s own branded PCs were launched.
Legend founders were dedicated to the goal of developing their own branded PCs despite
the lack of a manufacturing license from the state. In 1988, Legend set up its Hong
Kong branch in an effort to accumulate capital through international trade and acquire
first-hand experience in the overseas market. Its Hong Kong branch was engaged in
the development, manufacture and sales of computer motherboards which were exported
to European and American markets. The operation reached to certain scale. In 1990,
Legend’s own branded computer became a hit at the Hanover (Germany) Electronics
Fair and the company eventually received a manufacturing license from the state.
In 1991, Legend’s branded PCs were launched in the domestic market.
In 1991, Legend’s own branded PC (Legend 286) was launched in the domestic market.
In 1994, Legend founded its computer division; In the same year,Legend was listed on the Hong Kong.
In the 1990s, the domestic PC market changed significantly as the country cancelled
import quota system and reduced trade tariffs. As a result, a group of international
PC producers entered the Chinese market and posed threats to domestic brands, prompting
concerns about the fate of Legend. After deep analysis and research, Legend determined
to stick to its own brand in an effort to push forward the domestic computer industry.
As a result, Legend restructured itself in 1994 and appointed the then 29-year-old
Yang Yuanqing as general manager of the personal computer division. This division
leveraged channel partners to compete neck-to-neck with foreign competitors. In
the same year, legend was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange under the code
In 1994, the Legend personal computer division was founded.
In 1994, the 29-year-old Yuang Yuanqing (as pictured) was appointed general manager
of the personal computer division.
Legend was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s main board on February 14, 1994.
In 1997, Legend computers claimed the biggest share in the domestic market.
Legend summed up the principles about the industry and enterprise management after
years of exploration and practice. In 1997, Legend claimed the biggest domestic
market share and has kept that status since.
1997, Legend integrated its businesses in Beijing and Hong Kong.
In 1995, Legend Hong Kong reported a loss of 195 million Hong Kong dollars, roughly
the same as profits made in the previous three years. That forced Legend to raise
fund and conduct a restructuring. In order to unleash productivity under a unified
headquarter, the company implemented a combination of its Beijing and Hong Kong
operations in 1997 – incorporating the PC, distribution and system integration businesses
from the Beijing branch into that of Hong Kong. A unified Legend developed and prospered
from then on.
In 2000, Legend computers secured the biggest market share in the Asia-Pacific region
(excluding Japan), maintaining that status ever since.