American Icons in China
Just last year most people had never heard of Lenovo. I even spelled their named wrong in an article I wrote yesterday about their participation in stopbadware.org. Even now the majority of folks in the high tech sector don’t realize that Lenovo is the third largest supplier of personal computers.
How did they become the 3rd largest? Last year Lenovo Group Limited acquired IBM’s Personal Computing Division for 1.25 billion dollars. While IBM still has great brand recognition it surprises me that we didn’t read more about this last year. Lenovo already had about 1/3 share in the overall PC market in China so its purchase of IBM’s PC division catapulted it to one of the top spots in the world.
Did I say China? Yes, Lenovo’s headquarters are in Beijing, China. You remember Beijing right? It was in the news a while back, something to do with human rights.
Tiananmen Square 1989
Well, the world has changed in the last 17 years. In July, 2005 Google announced it would open a product research and development center in China. Unfortunately, being a communist country, the Chinese government is going to censor the results of Google searches. Wal*Mart doesn’t just buy from China, they have 42 Supercenters there. Even the American icon Harley-Davidson is expanding into the Chinese market.
I find it odd that congress is now making a big deal out of Googles relationship with China. It didn’t care about Wal*Mart changing what products it stocks on the shelves in China. It didn’t get paranoid that the regime in China would make Lenovo put spy chips in IBM computers. So why Google now?
As I wrote a few days ago, it’s past the time we all start thinking globally. China’s economy grew 9.9% in 2005. It’s the second biggest contributor to global growth. The best hope we have is, that we have more impact on China then they do on us. Maybe Googling for a new hog will help put an end to communism.