“Chinese computer-maker Lenovo Group Ltd. will start manufacturing PCs in North Carolina next year. Company executives said the effort, starting with only a few million dollars and just over 100 workers, will be the beginning of something bigger, rather than a one-time made-in-America publicity effort,” Juro Osawa reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“The world’s No. 2 personal-computer maker says the PC production line now being built at a facility in Whitsett, N.C., will allow the company to become more responsive to U.S. corporate clients’ demand for flexible supplies and product customization,” Osawa reports. “Although the cost of U.S. production will be higher compared with overseas production, an added benefit will be to raise Lenovo’s profile in the U.S., where it ranks fourth in market share by shipment.”

Osawa reports, “While the investment is tiny for Lenovo, whose revenue was nearly $30 billion in the most recent fiscal year, it is a symbolic move for the company that rose to international prominence when it bought the PC business of International Business Machines Corp. in 2005. And with its new production line in North Carolina, Lenovo will stand apart from its U.S. rivals — No. 1 PC maker Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Apple Inc. — which no longer make personal computers in the U.S. Lenovo executives said the new production line isn’t a temporary publicity stunt. ‘I believe this is the first of many steps to increase our production capability,’ Mr. Schmoock said. ‘I’m very, very bullish about what I can get out of this facility.'”

“The new production line will be located near the company’s U.S. headquarters outside of Raleigh, N.C.,” Osawa reports. “Unemployment in the area has remained stubbornly high, with the jobless rate in the county at 10% compared with the national rate of 8.1%. The factory isn’t far from the site of the last Dell PC factory in the U.S., which closed in 2010.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll see if this is just a PR stunt or not with time. If not, the pressure will certainly ratchet up on Apple CEO Cook regarding U.S. assembly.