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The spread of electronics production to Asia in the period 1960–1980 was a very important factor in East Asia becoming a major production hub in the PC industry. There were two reasons for this. First, East Asia developed the capabilities that would make it the logical place for PC companies to set up production, source [...]
There were exceptions, such as DEC, which produced in Europe most of what it sold there. There were also many alliances across countries, such as Fujitsu with Amdahl and ICL, NEC with Honeywell and Groupe Bull, and Hitachi with Olivetti.
The central computing era saw a gradual trend toward globalization, mostly through IBM’s activities. International Business Machines, Inc., was aptly named, as it was international in focus even before the computer was invented.
Analysts such as Richard Nolan and David Yoffie of Harvard, and David Moschella of IDG, characterize the computer industry as passing through three stages of development. The first was the central computing era, which ran from the 1950s to the early 1980s, during which the mainframe computer and its little brother, the minicomputer, reigned supreme.
The national industry structures of the East Asian countries were also well suited to competing in a global production network, partly due to the presence of leading multinational computer makers. In Japan, these were mostly domestic companies such as Fujitsu, NEC, and Toshiba, while in the Asian NIEs, they were mostly American companies.