Tag Archives: Lenovo

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PCs: Lenovo Blasted as Traitor for Supporting US Standard

Bottom line: A brouhaha involving Lenovo’s branding as unpatriotic for not supporting homegrown technology is likely to blow over quickly, and spotlights China’s continued reliance on foreign technology.

Lenovo branded as traitor

In a story that looks like a something from the McCarthy era, embattled PC maker Lenovo (HKEx: 992) has landed at the center of a controversy that’s seeing it branded by some as a traitor for choosing foreign technology over a homegrown Chinese alternative. This kind of thing isn’t at all that uncommon in China, where politics, business and everyday life mix freely.

We’ve seen a few examples of such mixing over the last few months, all involving western companies that were forced to repent after making the egregious error of listing places like Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate “countries” from China on their marketing materials. Such missteps ended up causing outrage by some nationalists on the web, prompting sleepy regulators to step up and demand such places be labeled as part of China. I’m not a big fan of Donald Trump, though I did find his branding of this kind of thing as “Orwellian nonsense” as both humorous and also a nice gentle rebuke to China. Read Full Post…

PCs: Lenovo Kicked Out of Hang Seng Index

Bottom line: Lenovo’s ejection from the Hang Seng Index caps its long fall from grace over the last four years, and leaves the company in an increasingly deep hole that may be hard to emerge from.

Lenovo ejected from Hang Seng Index

Capping its long fall from grace, PC giant Lenovo (HKEx: 992) has been officially booted from the Hang Seng Index, in a move that looks highly symbolic but also has some very real ramifications for this former high-flyer. It’s probably too early to relegate Lenovo to the history books, but we can certainly say the company is down for the count with this latest blow.

As someone who has followed Lenovo for most of its life as a listed company, I can provide my own view that the company is certainly facing a life-or-death moment in its lifetime that dates back more than three decades, making it one of China’s oldest tech names. I have called repeatedly for the departure of CEO Yang Yuanqing and introduction of some newer, younger blood to the company’s top ranks. But it doesn’t seem that Yang’s boss, Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi, cares too much what I think, as he has repeatedly stuck with this right-hand man throughout the company’s decline. Read Full Post…

STOCKS: Lenovo, China Telecom Mull CDR Homecomings

Bottom line:  Hong Kong-listed “Red chip” stocks like Lenovo and China Telecom could eventually make secondary listings in China under a new CDR program, but will be forced to wait behind higher-profile Internet names like Alibaba.

‘Red chips’ eye China listings under CDR program

With all of the major IPOs for the week now in the history books, as most of the world takes a vacation for Good Friday, I thought I’d close out the week here in China with yet another angle on the China Depositary Receipt (CDR) program that is creating lots of buzz. Regular readers will know this is a reference to China’s planned take on the popular American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program that lets companies with a primary listing in one market make secondary listings in another one.

Lots has been written these last couple of weeks about how the CDR program could let U.S.- and Hong Kong-listed tech giants like Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) and Tencent (HKEx: 700) make new secondary listings in China, which they couldn’t do before. But today we’re getting the first few peeps about similar homecomings from top executives of a group of Hong Kong-listed companies known as “red chips”, which are major Chinese firms that are currently barred from listing at home. Read Full Post…

PCs: Lenovo Taps Top Managers for Funds, Goes Retro

Bottom line: Lenovo’s new fund raising and roll-out of a retro commemorative ThinkPad 25th anniversary model show the company is focused on short-term fixes rather than the shock therapy it really needs. 

Lenovo celebrates 25 years of ThinkPad

With the October 1 Golden Week holiday now in the rear view mirror, we’ll jump back into the latest tech trends with a look at PC giant Lenovo (HKEx: 992), which was in a couple of headlines over the holiday that underscore its ongoing difficulties. The first of those has the company raising $500 million from a group of its core supporters, who are probably the only ones who have faith that this former superstar can right its sinking ship.

The other has the company rolling out a line of retro computers to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its ThinkPad computers, which arguably launched Lenovo on its trajectory that would ultimately take it to the top of the global PC hill. The only problem is that it’s difficult to stay king of the hill for too long in today’s cut-throat high-tech world, and also there’s the fact that PCs aren’t exactly the cutting-edge product they used to be. Read Full Post…

SMARTPHONES: Lenovo Eyeing CEO Change?

Bottom line: Yang Yuanqing is likely to cede his CEO title at Lenovo to recently returned executive Liu Jun soon, which could be followed by more risk taking and big changes to the company’s lackluster smartphone unit.

Lenovo’s Yang set to cede CEO title?

I used to make fun of mobile carrier China Unicom (HKEx: 763; NYSE: CHU) for its never-ending management reshuffles, but now the more respectable Lenovo (HKEx: 992) is quickly taking that title with its own series of nonstop personnel moves in a bid to right its sputtering ship. What’s interesting to note is that the series of moves are gradually creeping their way to the top of the company, meaning they could eventually unseat chief Yang Yuanqing, which is what I’ve been calling for all along.

This latest move would certainly be the highest yet, and follows Lenovo’s announcement last month of the reorganization of its China region that accounts for more than a quarter of its business. (English article) One part of that overhaul saw the return of former executive Liu Jun to the company to take a top position, and if the latest reports are true Liu could soon take over Yang’s title as company CEO. Read Full Post…

SMARTPHONES: Xiaomi, Vivo Skip Barcelona Telecoms Bash

UPDATE: After publishing this earlier this morning, a source in Barcelona informs me that Oppo is indeed attending and is holding a press event to show off their newest products. Headline and photo caption changed to reflect Oppo’s attendance, but the rest of the original post remains the same.

Bottom line: The absence of Oppo and Vivo from the world’s top telecoms trade show in Spain this week reflects their overwhelming reliance on China sales, while Xiaomi’s absence from the show could be a cash conservation move.

Vivo, Xiaomi absent from top telecoms trade show

Most eyes from the telecoms world will be focused on Barcelona this week, where an annual show that’s arguably the world’s most important for smartphones is taking place. That seems like a good opportunity to look at who from China’s crowded smartphone arena is attending this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Spain, even though I’m personally not at the show.

Attending the event is by no means cheap, which is probably why some companies may choose the skip the affair. But the decision to attend or not does provide some insight as to what companies are thinking, since you would expect anyone with truly global aspirations to make an appearance at this showcase for the newest telecoms products. Read Full Post…

SMARTPHONES: Lenovo Starts Rebuilding Year with Samsung Poach

Bottom line: Lenovo could reverse its smartphone decline this year under a new leadership team anchored by a respected company veteran, though chances of success are relatively low due to stiff competition and magnitude of the task.

Lenovo nets former Samsung smartphone exec

My first post in the new lunar Year of the Rooster seems like a good time to look at the ultra-competitive smartphone market, and what may lie ahead for the embattled Lenovo (HKEx: 992) as it seeks to regain its footing in the space. CEO Yang Yuanqing has made repeated overhauls of his mobile devices division, including the naming of longtime executive Gina Qiao to try and turn the division around late last yaer. Now the latest reports are saying that Qiao has made one of her first big moves in that post by hiring an executive from rival producer Samsung (Seoul: 005930). Read Full Post…

SMARTPHONES: China Exports Price Wars to India; Nokia Returns to China

Bottom line: Chinese smartphone brands with local production are most likely to survive upcoming price wars they are exporting to India, while Nokia’s new smartphones are unlikely to make any inroads in China over the next 2-3 years. 

China exports smartphone price wars to India

A case of deja vu is rapidly shaping up in India, where Chinese smartphone makers have flocked over the last two years in search of growth outside their overheated home market. In this case media are reporting that Chinese brands have surged to take half of the Indian market by dumping millions of their cheap look-alike Android phones into the country.

Meantime back in their own home country, nostalgia has become the word of the moment with word that Nokia (Helsinki: NOK1V) has officially re-entered a market it once dominated. Nokia joins a number of other faded brands to rediscover China, including former arch-rival Motorola, which has become the smartphone flagship of the brand’s current owner Lenovo (HKEx: 992). Read Full Post…

SMARTPHONES: Two Losers Unite in BlackBerry, TCL Alliance

Bottom line: TCL’s new licensing deal with BlackBerry will end up as a quiet failure due to TCL’s weak R&D skills and lack of consumer appeal to the BlackBerry name.  

TCL, BlackBerry in licensing tie-up

When does adding two negatives yield a positive? The answer is “never”, but dying smartphone makers BlackBerry (Toronto: BB) and TCL (Shenzhen: 000100) are hoping that maybe this time will be different. Of course, it’s easy for me to predict disaster for this particular new alliance, and I’d be much bolder if I said this partnership might revive the two dying companies. But the truth is that neither BlackBerry’s nor TCL’s smartphone business have much going for them these days. Read Full Post…

China News Digest: October 28, 2016

The following press releases and news reports about China companies were carried on October 28. To view a full article or story, click on the link next to the headline.
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  • ZTO Express (NYSE: ZTO) Falls 15 Pct in Market Debut (English article)
  • AAFA and 17 Organizations Call for Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) to Be Named on Piracy List (press release)
  • Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) Announces Q3 Results (PRNewswire)
  • TPG to Exit Race for $2 Bln McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) China Business (English article)
  • Lenovo (HKEx: 992) Says in PC Tie-Up Talks with Fujitsu (HKEx announcement)
  • Latest calendar for Q2 earnings reports (Earnings calendar)

SMARTPHONES: Huawei Slips in Q3, Meizu Gets New Investors

Huawei slips in Q3

The first third-quarter smartphone sales data are out, revealing that Huawei retained its leading position in the fiercely competitive Chinese market. But the high flying Huawei also saw its share drop by more than one percentage point, indicating its momentum may be slowing. At the same time, other reports are saying that Meizu, the Alibaba-backed (NYSE: BABA) smartphone brand that isn’t in the China top 5, has signed on a small group of new investors in a deal that hints at a possible upcoming IPO.

Let’s jump right in with the big-picture numbers, which are coming in new quarterly data from TrendForce. According to that data, Huawei controlled 19.1 percent of the Chinese smartphone market in the third quarter, down from 20.4 percent in the previous quarter. (Chinese article) Total smartphone sales in China reached 168 million for the quarter. Read Full Post…