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Does Lenovo have ulterior motives for its potential BlackBerry bid?

October 22nd, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Lenovo BlackBerry Merger Analysis

As we’ve mentioned before, a Lenovo-BlackBerry merger is probably a nonstarter because the Canadian government is likely to block any acquisition of BlackBerry by a Chinese company. So why would Lenovo, which is presumably smart enough to understand this, be willing to make a bid anyway? Forbes contributor Gordon Change theorizes that Lenovo is only bidding on BlackBerry because “the Chinese government wants an excuse to go through BlackBerry’s books so that it can learn as much about the company as it did about Nortel,” and thus give it the ability to hack into the platform for the first time.

Chang notes that the Pentagon apparently believes that BlackBerry is the one mobile platform that the Chinese government still has not cracked, which is a big reason why the Canadian government won’t let it fall into Chinese hands. Of course, if the situation really is that critical it makes you wonder whether the Canadian government would even let companies such as Lenovo, ZTE and Huawei crack open BlackBerry’s books in the first place. Given that high-level government officials still rely on BlackBerry for sensitive communications, it’s difficult to see how any company that isn’t from North America will be allowed to buy it.

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