On the first stop of a Chinese business delegation's US spending spree, computer maker Lenovo penned a deal to buy more than $1 billion (£505 million) in software from Microsoft.

According to Reuters, Lenovo committed to purchasing Windows XP, Windows Vista, Microsoft Office and other software from Microsoft.

"Our projection is the price tag could be as much as $1.3 billion for this fiscal year," the spokesman told the newswire.

Altogether, the Chinese delegation committed to buying $4.3 billion in US technology and signed 27 contracts with Microsoft and other companies, including Cisco, HP and Oracle.

In April 2006, Lenovo and Microsoft sealed a similar deal for $1.2 billion that reaffirmed a November 2005 pledge the two companies made in an effort to get legitimate copies of Windows on Chinese PCs. China has long been a counterfeiter's haven, with bogus copies of software – Windows included – the rule rather than the exception.

Lenovo, which acquired IBM's personal computer line in 2005, is currently ranked fourth behind HP, Dell and Acer in worldwide market share. According to Gartner's most recent data, Lenovo holds 6.3% of the market, up from 5.9% the same time last year when it still owned the number three spot.

The deals signed yesterday are just part of a multi-state visit through the US by 200 Chinese companies. The so-called "buying mission" is a regular event, and only the latest attempt by China to mollify the US. Later this month, the US and China will hold government-level talks in Washington about the $232 billion American trade deficit.