Reply to post: Just remember that Lenovo used to be IBM

While big orange spectre haunts certain Chinese firms, fiscal '19 treated Lenovo rather well

martinusher Silver badge

Just remember that Lenovo used to be IBM

Lenovo has't turned up on the Orange Administration's radar yet but I daresay it will. Its all about technological supremacy (see Steve Bannon's remark about it being many times more important to crush Huawei than win the trade war). Unfortunately in this case we can't posture that the Chinese stole anything -- we sold them this business. Lenovo was already making IBM's laptops for them but IBM decided that this consumer business was didn't fit its corporate profile so it sold the business to the contract manufacturer. IBM ThinkPads became Lenovo ThinkPads. The fact that the Chinese ran with it and started producing increasingly good kit (the ThinkPads were a good base to work from but modern Lenovo kit is outstanding) isn't the fault of the Chinese. We just couldn't be bothered.

I suspect -- actually, I know -- the same thing happened with Huawei. We were quite happy to have them build boxes and have us sell them under our name. We just weren't interested in low margin products. They were. Unfortunately they expanded, using the low margin commodity products to gain a foothold and so opening the door for sales of higher value products. A reputation takes time to build so you have to be patient, providing good value for money and taking care of the details,. Huawei's infrastructure products in the US started like that -- they serviced the poor, sparsely populated, rural areas, the little collective telco providers that were too small for the majors to bother with. In doing so they would have made a reputation and, more critically, personal contacts between users and sales, contacts that will be maintained as user personnel moved to bigger systems to further their careers. Its all Marketing 101....

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