Dell Inc., the world's second-largest PC maker, will devote more resources to the small-and medium-sized business (SMB) market in China as it considers the segment will be the first to climb out of the recession, said a senior company executive.

The U.S. PC maker will take measures including more advertising and product offerings, reported Monday's China Daily, citing Steve Felice, president of Dell's global SMB operations.

China is a strategically important market for us. That's why at Dell we have an executive steering committee for it, Felice said. We have seen some benefit, he added.

PC shipments in China are expected to grow at a historic low of 3% this year due to the economic downturn, but the market will rebound in 2010 when the growth rate will surge to 16%, according to the U.S. research firm IDC.

Felice said Dell will ramp up its channel expansion in China to reach more SMB customers in the third, fourth or even fifth-tier markets - a move that analysts say will put it into closer competition with Chinese PC maker Levono and Hewlett-Packard, the world's biggest PC maker.

The SMB sector accounts for more than 25% of Dell's business in China, which is the second-largest market for the PC maker. Last year China contributed about 5% of the company's global revenues.

For Asia, the company's first-quarter revenue fell 20% from a year earlier, according to its first-quarter earnings results. Excluding Japan, Dell was ranked third in Asia behind Lenovo and HP, but ahead of Acer and Founder in the first quarter, according to IDC.