Mitac International Corp. is holding talks with Dell Computer Corp. on manufacturing white-box PCs under contract in China, it said Wednesday.

Dell is expected to place orders for between 3 million and 4 million white-box, or unbranded, PCs to be made over a one-year period starting from the second quarter of 2003, said Justine Liu, a spokeswoman for Taiwanese hardware maker Mitac.

“We’re thinking we’ll get part of that,” Liu said, declining to detail specifics of the contract under negotiation.

Dell last month announced plans to sell white-box PCs to small computer resellers that cater to small and medium-sized businesses, but said the white-box business was expected to account for less than 1 per cent of the company’s annual revenue.

The base configuration for Dell’s US$499 White Box D510 includes a 1.7GHz Celeron processor from Intel Corp., 128M bytes of RAM, a 20G-byte hard drive, a CD-ROM drive and Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP operating system. It does not include a monitor.

If Mitac does get a portion of Dell’s order for white-box PCs, the machines would be manufactured at Mitac’s factory in Shunde, China, Liu said.