Dell announced plans on Thursday to expand its business in China by selling desktop and notebook computers at Suning, and doubling the number of Gome stores that carry Dell machines.

Suning is China's second largest electronics chain.

Dell's move coupled with selling PCs through several smaller retailers in China, will allow the firm's products to be sold in more than 12,000 stores around the world.

Reports released on Wednesday by research firms, IDC and Gartner Inc., showed that Dell was still trailing Hewlett-Packard (HP) in worldwide shipments although it also made significant gains in the first quarter.

HP reported that its machines were available in more than 81,000 stores around the world.

Dell is currently facing stiff competition in China against domestic market leader Lenovo Group.

Dell forecasted that young Chinese consumers buying their first computer will prefer the superstone format of larger Gome and Suning locations to the PC malls. China is a good market place for Dell.

Dell said its sales in the Asia-Pacific and Japan region increased by 28 percent, helping it to offset small gains from other regions.

Dell's general manager for global consumer business said the firm will also increase spending for online marketing and in-store promotions at Gome and Suning.