In cooperation with China Telecom, HP has been offering a "Computer + Broadband" service in areas like Taizhou and Nantong of Jiangsu Province since December 2006, but the company is now being criticized by many Chinese users for the computers' poor performances.
Under China Telecom and HP's "Computer + Broadband" service, a user will get a HP Compaq DX2308 desktop computer free of charge after they sign with China Telecom and pay CNY198 per month for a total of 27 months. The package also includes 150 hours of Internet access. However, based on the monthly ADSL fee of CNY60 for 150 hours in these areas, the total ADSL fee for the 27 months is CNY1420, which means that the HP computer the user receives costs them more than CNY3900.
Chinese chatrooms are ablaze with complaining farmers who have applied for the service and say the HP computers often crash and it is difficult to access the Internet.
Cui Wu, a lawyer from Jiangsu Shengdian Law Firm, has told local media that HP took advantage of the Chinese farmer's ignorance of computer knowledge and sold them low configuration computers with 3.2G Intel Celeron D processors, 512M of storage, 80G hard disks and 17-inch CRT monitors at high prices. Cui said that consumers should sue HP and ask it to cancel its agreement with them.