Thailand on Thursday signed a multi-million dollar deal to buy hundreds of thousands of Chinese-made tablet computers for primary school children, an official statement said.
The ruling Puea Thai party, linked to former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra, promised to issue free handheld computers to a million students as part of a raft of pledges that helped it to an election victory last year.
Other undertakings included a rise in the minimum wage and increased rice prices for farmers, and Puea Thai -- led by Thaksin's sister Yingluck Shinawatra -- has been accused by the opposition of populism.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) minister Anudit Nakornthap inked a contract with Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co Ltd, one of four companies "suggested by the Chinese government".
"The first batch of 400,000 tablets, costing $32.8 million, will be delivered within 60 days," he said in statement, adding that a repeat order would not exceed one million machines.
© 2012 AFP