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NYT: IBM PC Division Sold To Advance China's Goals

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the long-term-strategy dept.

IBM 210

theodp writes "Back in 2005, Wharton's Michael Useem speculated that IBM's sale of its PC Division to Lenovo was more about ingratiating Big Blue with the Chinese government than getting top dollar for the assets. 'Government relationships are key in China,' Useem explained. Now, a NY Times article on outgoing IBM CEO Samuel J. Palmisano seems to confirm that Useem's analysis was spot-on. From the NYT article: 'In 2004, I.B.M. sold its PC business to Lenovo of China. Mr. Palmisano says he deflected overtures from Dell and private equity firms, preferring the sale to a company in China for strategic reasons: the Chinese government wants its corporations to expand globally, and by aiding that national goal, I.B.M. enhanced its stature in the lucrative Chinese market, where the government still steers business.'"

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News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (5, Insightful)

dtmos (447842) | about 2 years ago | (#38562072)

For once, a CEO thought beyond the next quarterly report. Be careful what you complain about.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (5, Funny)

vikingpower (768921) | about 2 years ago | (#38562092)

So. You suggest to complain about neither China, nor CEOs, nor about IBM. You're taking the fun away from my daily engineer's life !

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562128)

Hey, they helped a communist tyranny. Feel free to complain about that.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (5, Insightful)

Elbereth (58257) | about 2 years ago | (#38562202)

I think that, at this point, China is fascist, not communist.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562226)

The word is totalitarian.

Communism does not, has not ever, nor will it ever exist.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (4, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#38562272)

Communism has existed. In communes. It can actually work, if you just want to run a village. It just scales really, really poorly.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (5, Insightful)

raehl (609729) | about 2 years ago | (#38562396)

Communism depends heavily on the people picking up the slack being within striking distance of the slackers.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562486)

Under communism as Marx thought it, everyone works according to their ability: you don't have the choice to slack off by allowing your capital to "work for you".

It's the essence of capitalism that you can slack off providing you have enough money and don't do really stupid things with it. In theory you are rewarded for wisely investing your money in businesses which deliver what people want. In practice you are rewarded for whatever method you find to increase your personal wealth, regardless of how much effort you put in or who benefits.

The average worker is better off in a commune / co-operative / partnership because he is working with people who want to work with him and share the load, not being seen as a tool to exploit. The bitter capitalist worker might see this worker as slacking because he is bitter that others do not have to work as hard as him. But he should be striving for better conditions for himself rather than pathetically allowing him to be divided from those sharing his interests, and conquered.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | about 2 years ago | (#38562812)

A commune (despite its name) / cooperative / partnership is a completely different beast from Comunism, as proposed by Marx. The most relevant difference is that the products of the commune / cooperative / partnership are sold in a capitalist market. While in Comunism, there would be no market at all.

Yes, in local initiatives comunism works, and often is the best choice. When you try to push it further, it fails.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38563020)

Most communes are too small to be able to sustain themselves completely and too isolated to group with other communes, whence the need to trade. This doesn't make them "completely different", just necessarily compromising for the real world.

Every ideology "pushed further" fails and its leaders become corrupt. For example, we have nothing nearly resembling capitalism in the Western world, instead enjoying a hodge-podge of regulations to benefit various interests with state control, funding and other risk mitigation (e.g. research) to maintain stability and progress in almost every sphere. If what its leaders called communism has failed a dozen times, then what its leaders call capitalism has failed a hundred times.

But what has succeeded is the PR war by the rich that wage slavery is good in the long run and that the poor deserve their exploitable position. And the powerful throw around sacred terms like "free market" and "capitalism" and bogeymen like "communists", "socialists" and "terrorists" - which is why the West talks of capitalism succeeding and communism failing when in fact both are unimplementable ideals and all attempts to approach either on a large scale have failed. All that really matters to the men at the top is that the state of affairs is engineered to maintain their source of income, and they did this in the First and Second Worlds by making a religion out of a set of socio-economic principles.

China, meanwhile, has adopted Italian technocratic fascism in a completely open and matter-of-fact way and laughs at everyone else's need to engage in C19 hypocrisy.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#38562888)

It's the essence of capitalism that you can slack off providing you have enough money and don't do really stupid things with it.

Everyone in favor of sending the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and Britney Spears to a Communist country say Aye!

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#38562932)

Where as in capitalism, the slackers just run the whole show.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

migla (1099771) | about 2 years ago | (#38562436)

>Communism has existed. In communes. It can actually work, if you just want to run a village. It just scales really, really poorly.

If only there was some sort of magical machines to help us scale and decentralize information and decisions, so that utopia could be administered without hierarchy and more efficiently than a bunch of mentally ill despots/tyrants could muster a hundred years ago...

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 2 years ago | (#38563008)

"The computer is your friend. Trust the computer."

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (2, Informative)

d3ac0n (715594) | about 2 years ago | (#38563260)

Fancy machines don't help when a problem is structurally inherent.

Communism's primary issue is not that it scales poorly, although it does. Communism's primary issue is that it works against basic human nature. It failed even in villiage-sized experiments back in the early colonization days of America. The Pilgrims tried their own brand of it and it failed miserably. And they had religious pressure to help the system along! IE: It was God's Will, they were building a new Jerusalem. WAY more pressure for them to work together and make it work than your average modern communist society. It still fell apart. Behold the writing of William Bradford, one of the Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower: (emphasis mine)

All this while no supplies were heard of, nor did they know when they might expect any. So they began to consider how to raise more corn, and obtain a better crop than they had done, so that they might not continue to endure the misery of want. At length after much debate, the Governor, with the advice of the chief among them, allowed each man to plant corn for his own household, and to trust to themselves for that; in all other things to go on in the general way as before. So every family was assigned a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number with that in view, â" for present purposes only, and making no division for inheritance, â" all boys and children being included under some family.

This was very successful. It made all hands very industrious, so that much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could devise, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better satisfaction. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to plant corn, while before they would allege weakness and inability; and to have compelled them would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

The failure of the experiment of communal service, which was tried for several years, and by good and honest men proves the emptiness of the theory of Plato and other ancients, applauded by some of later times, - that the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth, would make a state happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.

For in this instance, community of property (so far as it went) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment which would have been to the general benefit and comfort. For the young men who were most able and fit for service objected to being forced to spend their time and strength in working for other men's wives and children, without any recompense. The strong man or the resourceful man had no more share of food, clothes, etc., than the weak man who was not able to do a quarter the other could. This was thought injustice. The aged and graver men, who were ranked and equalized in labour, food, clothes, etc., with the humbler and younger ones, thought it some indignity and disrespect to them. As for men's wives who were obliged to do service for other men, such as cooking, washing their clothes, etc., they considered it a kind of slavery, and many husbands would not brook it.

This feature of it would have been worse still, if they had been men of an inferior class. If (it was thought) all were to share alike, and all were to do alike, then all were on an equality throughout, and one was as good as another; and so, if it did not actually abolish those very relations which God himself has set among men, it did at least greatly diminish the mutual respect that is so important should be preserved amongst them. Let none argue that this is due to human failing, rather than to this communistic plan of life in itself. I answer, seeing that all men have this failing in them, that God in His wisdom saw that another plan of life was fitter for them.

These matters premised, I will now proceed with my account of affairs here. But before I come to other things I must say a word about their planting this year. They felt the benefit of their last year's harvest; for by planting corn on their own account they managed, with a great deal of patience, to overcome famine. This reminds me of a saying of Seneca's (Epis. 123): that an important part of liberty is a well-governed belly, and patience in want.

The settlers now began to consider corn more precious than silver; and those that had some to spare began to trade with the others for small things, by the quart, pottle, and peck, etc.; for they had not money, and if they had, corn was preferred to it. In order that they might raise their crops to better advantage, they made suit to the Governor to have some land apportioned for permanent holdings, and not by yearly lot, whereby the plots which the more industrious had brought under good culture one year, would change hands the next, and others would reap the advantage; with the result that manuring and culture of the land were neglected. It was well considered, and their request was granted.

Every person was given one acre of land, for them and theirs, and they were to have no more till the seven years had expired; it was all as near the town as possible, so that they might be kept close together, for greater safety and better attention to the general employments.

Simply put: Communism fails EVERY TIME its tried. Always has, always will. Doesn't matter who tries it, it will fail. Capitalism is the natural state of humanity, it is who we are. To try and deny it is to invite the worst horrors that humanity can devise.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#38562644)

Actually I'd say that's true of all "isms" including capitalism as we see what a corrupt mess we have in DC now. The problem with scaling an ism to nation size is it lets power concentrate and where power is concentrated its more easily purchased. I do find it kinda funny though that the right uses the word socialist like kiddie fiddler when we've had socialism for the rich in this country for decades. just look at how the banks can treat Wall Street like Las Vegas and keep their profits win they win (using tricks like double dutch and Irish whip tax dodges) and pass the "losses" onto the American people with a too big to fail bailout. Being able to never lose money must be nice, too bad it doesn't work for the peasants.

As for TFA since every company that can is either sending jobs overseas as fast as they can close the factories, to the tune of 21,000 factories in a single decade [businessinsider.com] or using the "how NOT to hire an American" as a how to video I really don't think it matters whether the Chinese bought it directly or they got it from Dell do you? Nearly 10% of the Chinese farmland is so poisoned by heavy metals the food coming from them is toxic, their rivers are so filled with toxins I'm waiting for one to catch fire, and 9 out of the 10 most cancerous places to live on the planet are in China, that last one on the list an abandoned Soviet chemical factory town. Ain't capitalism grand? Kinda hard to compete with those that will drink cancer straight from the tap and send their kids out to play wearing gas masks while taking $200 a month wages for the top workers isn't it? Welcome to the race to the bottom folks, enjoy your place in the unemployment line.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 2 years ago | (#38562810)

On the other hand if they keep poisoning themselves the whole thing is self-limiting.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562228)

The best way to fight communism is by bringing them over to your side and inviting them to participate in a market economy. Beats nuking people any day of the week.

Nope. (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about 2 years ago | (#38562480)

Neutralizing China economically or militarily is the only way to do it while denying them any foothold in the US.

Re:Nope. (1)

aekafan (1690920) | about 2 years ago | (#38563074)

You know, this statement of extremely questionable wisdom impressed me. This is a great idea if you are looking to start a war. If, on the other hand, you are sane, intelligent, and humane, then perhaps loud warhawks like you should be the first to go and die in war.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

sempir (1916194) | about 2 years ago | (#38562966)

In what condition was this IBM PC Division, and the potential of it's products?

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (5, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | about 2 years ago | (#38562110)

There's a book by Roger L. Martin called Fixing The Game [apple.com] which argues that the problem with large businesses today is that they are focused on the expectation market--maximizing shareholder value--as opposed to the real market--making good products and increasing customer satisfaction. For example, Enron was so focused on shareholder value that they manipulated revenues to increase stock price, while Apple was so focused on products that Steve Jobs was infamously dismissive the importance of his company's shareholders and joked that the one thing that kept him up at night was shareholder meetings.

Hey Look! It's The Multiple Account Apple Troll! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562206)

We are watching you and your other accounts troll...

Re:Hey Look! It's The Multiple Account Apple Troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562408)

You're one to talk, Galestar [slashdot.org] /NicknameOne [slashdot.org] /flurp [slashdot.org] !

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

andydread (758754) | about 2 years ago | (#38562282)

Are you attempting to sell us a book from iTunes? This is a brilliant marketing strategy by Apple. They send Bonch in to forums to sell books on iTunes by trying to link certain books on iTunes back to a topic of conversation on a forum/social discussion site. Brilliant but very sleazy indeed.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (2)

bonch (38532) | about 2 years ago | (#38562358)

I linked to the iTunes Preview web page because the full description is right at the top unlike Amazon, ya psycho.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (2)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 2 years ago | (#38562790)

Here is an article [forbes.com] about the book. The article is free.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (3, Interesting)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#38562186)

For once, a CEO thought beyond the next quarterly report. Be careful what you complain about.

Hey, he's only following the example set by the US government.

The only difference is that the US government is selling the entire nation to the Chinese in the form of borrowing/debt to finance out of control spending on programs designed to produce citizens dependent on government for survival in order to help insure election/reelection with promises of more "free stuff", while simultaneously increasing their power over the populace in general through increasing control of ever more aspects of everyday life with ever-more intrusive and choice-limiting laws & regulations, government control of entire sectors of the economy, and the constant threat of removal of the "free stuff".

Strat

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (4, Insightful)

Shifty0x88 (1732980) | about 2 years ago | (#38562240)

Whoa whoa whoa, first off, IBM did this years before Obama spent all the money on companies which the people needed to exist or they would totally rely on the government for money and help. This of course after his predecessor cut taxes on the rich, made banks give loans to people who couldn't pay them off, oh and that little "war" we had over in the Middle East, which we are still in even if we aren't in Iraq some what, 10 years later? China only owns us on paper, and what are they gunna do about it

I have to ask, are you a hipster Strat? You have that I like it, but only if I'm the only one that likes it

I think IBM did this so they would get kickbacks from the corrupt Chinese government. It's in the article and in the blurb: "I.B.M. enhanced its stature in the lucrative Chinese market, where the government still steers business."

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562394)

I read Strat's post and found myself agreeing, kind of, and then I read yours and realized it's really a matter of Occam's razor. The chinese government is corrupt, the chinese government controls (at least to a degree) the chinese market, and IBM wants to make some *money*. Thanks for bringing me back from the edge!

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (2)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#38562496)

I read Strat's post and found myself agreeing, kind of, and then I read yours and realized it's really a matter of Occam's razor. The chinese government is corrupt, the chinese government controls (at least to a degree) the chinese market, and IBM wants to make some *money*. Thanks for bringing me back from the edge!

I would argue that IBM shares the same goals as those in power in the US government, so the comparison is valid. Those goals being power and wealth, which are simply two faces of the same coin. If you have plenty of one, you can obtain the other.

Strat

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (4, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#38562450)

Whoa whoa whoa, first off, IBM did this years before Obama...

You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the things I described have only occurred recently, when in fact it's been a trend that has been accelerating for many decades.

...before Obama spent all the money on companies which the people needed to exist or they would totally rely on the government for money and help.

Wait, what? By that logic the people are made dependent on the government either way. Having the government direct the "money and help" through a third party doesn't change anything, except for increasing the levels of corruption in both the government and private sector. Never mind the fact that the government has no business giving/loaning taxpayer money to private business simply to prop them up if they would otherwise not exist. Doing so distorts and eventually destroys the free market and twists capitalism into a corrupt and extremely destructive amalgam of socialism and fascism.

"If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy. - Thomas Jefferson"

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take everything you have. - Thomas Jefferson

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. - Thomas Jefferson

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. - Thomas Jefferson

Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. - James Madison

The Utopian schemes of re-distribution of the wealth...are as visionary and impractical as those which vest all property in the Crown. - Samuel Adams

The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. - Benjamin Franklin

In the main it will be found that a power over a man's support (salary) is a power over his will. - Alexander Hamilton

Strat

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562562)

Be careful with those Founding Fathers quotes, or people will label you a Libertarian, Crank, or Ronulan.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (2)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#38562670)

Be careful with those Founding Fathers quotes, or people will label you a Libertarian, Crank, or Ronulan.

Which says more about the ignorance and intellectual laziness of such people who are quick to attach convenient labels in order to dismiss opinions that they disagree with but are incapable of expressing why, than it does about my opinions.

Strat

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (5, Informative)

iter8 (742854) | about 2 years ago | (#38562904)

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. - Thomas Jefferson [monticello.org]

Don't believe everything you read on the internet. - Abraham Lincoln.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (5, Interesting)

iserlohn (49556) | about 2 years ago | (#38562610)

Fiscal policy is one way to direct growth in the economy. Infrastructure projects, especially, provide the most bang for the buck in terms of value for money. The only problem is that infrastructure tend to require maintenance which means future funding is in essence commited. Social programs are also useful to ensure what is most fairly termed as equality of opportunity, to help alieviate the inherent unfairness of wealth distribution. It is not fair, as a matter of fact, to deny opportunity of advancement due to ones situation at birth. This is why we spend money on things like education so that we have a more inclusive society where advancement is based on merit, and not solely on whether you have the means to pay for advancement.

Monetary policy is another way to direct growth although it tends to result in bubbles when the interest rates are very low levels to spur investments mainly fueled by debt. When money is essentially cheap, banks and investers tend to do stupid things with all this surplus cash flowing around - like making mortgages to people who they know can't afford it (and then selling the mortgages off at a profit to relieve themselves of any risk), or private equity making leveraged buyouts incurring a large debt on the target company which brings on unsustainable interest payments when the money markets dry up.

Back to fiscal policy, the problem with the US is not that it is spending too much (compared to other advanced economies). It is mosty because public spending in the US is notoriously poor value. For example, the US spends ~8% of GDP on just Medicare and Medicaid, covering only a small proportion of the population. In total the US spends nearly 16% of GDP on heathcare. The UK for example, spends only 8% on its healthcare system that covers everybody, at all ages.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 years ago | (#38562234)

Whatever the reason, the silver lining is they didn't sell to Dell. That would have been the worst possible outcome for the Thinkpad line. *shudder*

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#38562258)

How about I complain about Corporate America and Corporate Globe whoring themselves to China?

Few if any corporations owe their past successes to China. These prostitutes are selling technology discovered by mostly the Western world, and Russia, and some from the third world to China for a short term profit. Yes, 5 years or 10 years is short term. China is the only frigging entity in the world with a long term goal. Assassin's mace.

Oh, but someone will post here again, telling me that's just a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theory my ass - we see it happening before our very eyes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_aircraft_carrier_programme [wikipedia.org]

It is their goal to dominate the United States economically, politically, and militarily. And, IBM sells out to China, just as they sold out to the Nazi's before the United States declared war on them.

HEY, IBM!! You owe your current economic position and success to the west!

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562278)

Few if any corporations owe their past successes to China.

Except, maybe, the United States' Government...

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562464)

If you were aware of world history as it relates to China and western countries, you would know that "the west" owes its advancing to the industrial revolution and beyond directly to Chinese technologies (e.g., Paper, gunpowder, compass, and printing). So that China is going to inevitably dominate the West yet again is simply a return to the historical norm.

And that China is getting access to western technologies to do so is entirely justified based on history.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562650)

Quit sucking up to the Chinese for things they did centuries ago. How about giving credit to the Arabs for the camera, soap (unimportant to the average slashtard I know), and distillation? How about giving credit to India for crucible steel, the cotton gin, and the number zero? Every nation or society has made contributions, but insinuating that one group (the West) owes everything to another is racist, nationalist bullshit.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#38562680)

Gunpowder, yes. Compass? " The earliest Chinese magnetic compasses were probably not designed for navigation, but rather to order and harmonize their environments and buildings in accordance with the geomantic principles of feng shui." Paper? Most definitely not - heard of papyrus? I believe the Egyptians came up with that first. Printing? I really don't think so. "The history of printing started around 3000 BC with the duplication of images. The use of round "cylinder seals" for rolling an impress onto clay tablets goes back to early Mesopotamian civilization before 3000 BC, where they are the most common works of art to survive, and feature complex and beautiful images. "

I rather like Wikipedia - but it's not the best source in the world for information. So, without claiming it to be an authority, the Wikipedia does support my views on the matters you mention.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#38562540)

China is the natural master of Asia. The US has meddled there for no reason except missionary zeal.

Cede Asia to China and we have no quarrel.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562590)

"cede poland to germany and we have no quarrel"

Fixed that for you.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562688)

China is the natural master of Asia. The US has meddled there for no reason except missionary zeal.

Cede Asia to China and we have no quarrel.

"Natural master" - how do you say "Übermensch" in Chinese? What racist bullshit you speak.

Maybe the US should unleash Japan; they tend to keep China in check very well.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#38562710)

I've got your natural master - swinging, dude. WTF do you mean by "natural master" anyway? You are claiming that it is natural, right, or just, that one people should subjugate the people around them?

Yes, yes, I know that the US government thinks along those lines, albeit not in the terms you imply. And, yes, I am very sure that the Chinese government thinks the same way - and probably in the terms that you use.

But, I ask, what is RIGHT? Is it right that one people dominate the world, and subjugate all the rest of the peoples?

I say, "Fuck that!"

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (4, Interesting)

hihihihi (940800) | about 2 years ago | (#38562774)

China is the natural master of Asia. The US has meddled there for no reason except missionary zeal.

Natural master my big brown stnking ass...

Regards,
Rest of Asia (South, South east, south west (including but not limited to india, japan, korea etc.))

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 2 years ago | (#38563028)

It is their goal to dominate the United States economically, politically, and militarily.

Well, yes, but also the rest of the world. They want to be dominate. The same way that the USA does. And Russia. And, well, all nations. It's kind of their natural goal. (Except for Switzerland, but they're kinda freaks). The same way that corporations want to dominate their market (and all markets, really). They want to, you know, "win".

It only ever comes down to war when shit gets really bad. We're not anywhere near war. We're not at war with EastAsia or EurAsia. Get over it.

But yeah, dick move on IBM's part.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562274)

IBM the behemoth of the computer industry. Intel and hynex recently license IBM's fast-track memory technology. HP's and its failed memresistor technology tries to claim ownership of fast-track technology. Solid-state drive using Flash are a huge disaster, so implement IBM's fast-track technology as so as possible.{Mr I Own Everything, invest 10 billion dollars. Why?}

Re: Oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562310)

Racetrack not Fast-track..
http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/23859.wss

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562366)

You think that selling off you company piece by piece to the Chinese gov. is thinking strategically? Seriously?

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562870)

Please do yourself a favour and stop commenting, you utter fucking idiot.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

migla (1099771) | about 2 years ago | (#38562400)

>For once, a CEO thought beyond the next quarterly report. Be careful what you complain about.

Clever point about the longterm. I feel a bit ambivalent about this, since the longterm thingy may be good. The doing business with the oppressive regime is bad.

This reminds me of IBM selling the gassingadministrationsystems (or whatchamacallit) to the Nazis...

We should perhaps not blame the corporations, though, but also not expect any sort of decency from them. The solution should instead be outlawing genocide of millions and dictatorial oppression of other forms and other nastiness and the aiding of said nastiness.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562478)

America would have probably been better off if the nazis would have finish destroying England. Now the U.K. controls every fuking thing in the world, and if your not in the family you'll be a slave grazing on poisonous food.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 2 years ago | (#38562720)

Poor braindead fool. Take another look around, and tell us again who is controlling and/or taking control of the world. The US, UK, and Europe are slipping backward, while that old "Sleeping Giant" reaches for more and more control. DUHHH!

Re:Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562952)

So U.S. companies which are controlled by the British royal family buy cheap product from china, for an ever increasing motive to increase profits and eroding the American workforce. Americans own nothing just lease the land from the royal family. The royal family controls America, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Iraq, etc..., Proxy war to solidify control of Mexico which is paraded through the media as a drug war. The Royal family controls the food supply in America, politicians, buying up all the land, and controls the media. China's not trying to enslave Americans its the British.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562982)

you are one seriously paranoid xenophobe.

Re:News Flash: CEOs Think Strategically (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 2 years ago | (#38563046)

Yes, and placed the interests of his company ahead of his country. It would be great to see the US government display to IBM that they need to do a bit of relationship building here at home, perhaps through a complete absence of government grants or contracts in the future until they give us that sort of consideration.

One wonders if IBM got it's money's worth over all (5, Informative)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#38562148)

They're implying that IBM took less money for it's asset to curry favor with the chinese. That would only make sense if IBM got more money then the difference between the two payments over time as a result of that good will.

Has that happened? I don't know... I think American business might have been too brash in it's oriental investments. Most of them seem to be backfiring in alarming ways. We seem to have taught our chinese business contacts just well enough to start competing with us directly where before our technological edge made that impossible.

In any case, it seems like many of the US multinationals have woken up to the issue. We'll see what happens.

Re:One wonders if IBM got it's money's worth over (2, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | about 2 years ago | (#38562304)

Not sure a significant enough amount of North American multinationals have woken up to the issue. Many business are crawling all over themselves to get a piece of the "emerging China market" and that is their focus while completely ignoring the fact that all China wants to do is learn so it can create its own to compete with them. I see it didn't go good for Google. It won't go good for Bing. GMs marketshare in China is dismal. And on and on. US companies will never gain a foothold in China unless they have a worldwide monopoly such as Windows. And even with Windows its mostly bootleg versions that MS did not get any $ for. The only exception I can think of is Boeing and even their tech is on the list for homeland replication. Once they start building big jets then Boeing is done.

Re:One wonders if IBM got it's money's worth over (5, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | about 2 years ago | (#38562390)

GMs marketshare in China is dismal. And on and on.

WTH are you talking about? GM is perhaps the biggest of the China success stories.

"GM sold about 1.83 million vehicles in China last year [versus] 2.07 million cars and trucks in the U.S. But GM, already the leader in China with 13.4% of the market, is still gaining share. GM's market share was 11.3% in 2008."

http://money.cnn.com/2010/01/12/news/companies/gm_us_china_salesrace/index.htm [cnn.com]

No development for 6 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562162)

Lenovo laptops are essentially same as the old IBM laptops. There has been zero progress... Unless you count the degeneration of the quality, that is. Nowadays running Apple & HP EliteBook, and I think they are both a lot better than what Lenovo has to offer.

Re:No development for 6 years (4, Interesting)

gtirloni (1531285) | about 2 years ago | (#38562188)

I'm glad the ThinkPad T line hasn't been changed much except for upgrades. The other product lines on the other hand, have suffered enormously.

In my last laptop upgraded I decided to go with a Dell XPS because the ThinkPad T was overpriced here.

Re:No development for 6 years (4, Informative)

Elbereth (58257) | about 2 years ago | (#38562224)

Maybe that's because there are only a small handful of companies that make laptops. Dell, Apple, IBM/Lenovo, HP, etc all buy laptops from a few ODMs [wikipedia.org] , then put their sticker on it. From a long time, Asus was the only company that designed, manufactured, and sold their own laptops, but they recently spun-off their ODM business. Chances are, half of those laptops that you were using before were simply rebadged Asus laptops. They sold many laptops to Apple, Dell, and IBM. Nowadays, it looks like they just slap on a sticker, like everyone else -- too bad. I liked being able to skip the middle man.

Re:No development for 6 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562700)

You're confusing manufacturing with design. In the timeline 2006-2011, Apple's been most active with new designs. Kind of what IBM used to be. IBM used to have the best chassis, keyboards, and the best touchpad/stick. Now they're a lot behind. This is from using the T510, which cost around 3000€ compared to a lot cheaper MB Air at home and hobby :-P.

From what I can tell, Lenovo is still selling because of customers' habit and old reputation, and I'd recommend HP EliteBooks for Win/Linux use over Txxx any day.

Re:No development for 6 years (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562970)

The interesting thing is that every single one of the ODMs which make up 90% of the market (your ODM link on wikipedia) is based in Taiwan, except for one Singapore company.

Ouch! (5, Informative)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | about 2 years ago | (#38562172)

Palmisano was not well liked within IBM. He was after all the guy who told IBM's US employees they could take a job in the third-world at third-world wages or stay in the US and get sacked. For this Palmisano will be forever despised.

http://www.infoworld.com/d/the-industry-standard/ibms-palmisano-techs-slumdog-millionaire-257 [infoworld.com]

Sure, the business press has wet dreams about Palmisano and Gerstner who picked him as his successor:

http://www.forbes.com/2011/01/03/forbes-india-person-of-the-year-sam-palisan-ibm.html [forbes.com]

But the truth was really quite ugly. You won't read this in Forbes, but you will read it in - of all places - the reader feedback at Amazon:
It is strangely ironic that, after doing his best to suppress all negative communication within IBM, it should be the reader feedback on amazon.com that alerts Gerstner to what the world at large really thinks of him.

In the last five years, Gerstner has reaped a profit of [$$$] million in the sale of awarded stock options. These stock options were awarded while he held the joint positions of IBM CEO and chairman. During that period, IBM spent [$$$] billion buying back its own stock to drive the price up so that executives could cash out at handsome profits. This is money that could have been spent on developing new products, attracting new talent and honoring promises made to employees and retirees.

Where did all that money come from?

Not from profit growth, which remained flat at about 2 percent per year when you strip out the retirees' pension fund surplus "vapor profits."

It came from selling off large chunks of the company and its assets, laying off tens of thousands of employees and slashing pension and health care benefits for employees and retirees. In 2002 alone, IBM has quietly cut 15,000 jobs. Health benefits, which were promised "free for life," now cost retirees a substantial amount of their pensions. Only one minuscule cost-of-living increase has been awarded pension recipients in the past 11 years.

The greed doesn't stop there. Now, Lou had not only been retained as chairman of the board, he has been awarded a 10-year consulting contract, with fully paid expenses at his previous salary of $2 million a year. These expenses have been conservatively estimated to be $100,000 annually.

Save IBM? More like turning it into just another money grubbing corporation while lining his pockets. I would love to see a rebuttal book. God help us all if Lou's management methods become benchmarks for future corporate leaders.


http://www.amazon.com/Elephants-Dance-Inside-Historic-Turnaround/product-reviews/0060523794/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt/185-5256096-7601530?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 [amazon.com]

Re:Ouch! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562194)

Shock news: Americans are greedy. In other news Pope Catholic

Re:Ouch! (4, Interesting)

Elbereth (58257) | about 2 years ago | (#38562510)

Gerstner and Palmisano transformed IBM from a lumbering, confused giant into a lithe dancer. I admire them for that. They also taught me to never put my trust in a multinational corporation. You'd think that, by the 1990s, I would have learned that, but, no, I needed further negative reinforcement before the lesson would stick. OS/2 was a very special object lesson -- abandoned by one vendor, then the other. Both vendors had been deliriously enthusiastic, hyping it to levels that were only topped by the Amiga. Unsurprisingly, I also bought into that, as well. Yes, I really know how to pick a winner. After the slow, agonizing deaths of the Amiga and OS/2, I had an epiphany and switched to Linux. My resolve has not been resolute over the years (being a gamer under Linux sucks), but I can credit IBM with driving home the lesson that I should have learned 10 years prior to that: never, ever trust a multinational corporation. It's unsurprising that a corporation willing to treat its customers poorly would also treat its employees poorly. It's just business, though. Business as usual.

The lesson is not such an easy one to learn. Everyone hates Sony, Microsoft, Intel, and other Slashdot whipping boys, but how many people implicitly trust Apple or Google? Well, I don't trust any of them. Multinational corporations exist to make money, not to follow through on promises made to customers. That doesn't necessarily mean you should boycott every multinational corporation, if you're already happy with their products and services -- just be realistic enough to recognize that if they can make more money by screwing you over than by providing good service, most of them will.

Re:Ouch! (2)

Raenex (947668) | about 2 years ago | (#38562886)

Citing OS/2 is a strange example. It's not like IBM screwed people over. They lost to Microsoft Windows. They gave it a serious go (unlike HP's WebOS), and supported it far longer than most companies would have.

To a certain extent, yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38563152)

IBM gambled almost the entire OS/2 budget on OS/2 for the PPC platform. They lost that gamble when the PPC version of OS/2 came back almost unusable because of poor performance. So after pushing Warp and pushing Warp hard, they led developers and OEMs into thinking that v4 was going to be the next best thing since sliced bread. But after blowing their budget on OS/2 PPC, they had very limited resources. The release of v4 included radically changed APIs and neglected to fix serious structural defects (synchronous input queue, anyone?).

From a business perspective, it was probably the right decision for IBM to cut it's losses when they did. But the way that they cut their losses led to quite a bit of ill will on the parts of ISVs and OEMs that had struggled valiantly to build their businesses around OS/2.

Re:Ouch! (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about 2 years ago | (#38562920)

Gerstner saved IBM from irrelevance and possible bankruptcy. Palmisano turned it from a hardware company into a services company, a services company particularly adept at outsourcing.

It is not lithe. These guys steer the company 5 years into the future. They have an advantage in that where they move, they tend to change the future, but if they pick a bad direction, the company is screwed for at least a decade.

The sour grapes you're hearing are not from people who were OS/2 or Thinkpad loyalists, they're from present and former employees.

Re:Ouch! (1)

DaveGod (703167) | about 2 years ago | (#38563272)

Is "[$$$] million" supposed to be some kind of fact?

"IBM enhanced its stature in the lucrative China" (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 2 years ago | (#38562200)

market" .............

so in the end didnt they end up selling it for top dollar ?

Trust? (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 2 years ago | (#38562214)

Although US and Chinese companies do business with each other, I'm not really sure that they trust each other. And both sides have good reasons for being so. US companies want access to a growth market, but are wary of their investments in a country whose government and legal system don't function like they are used to elsewhere. China is fearful that foreign companies want to get in to exploit their market and resources, while cutting not fostering local business growth.

But at the moment, business and government go hand-in-hand in China: you can't deal with one, without automatically dealing with the other. So yes, if IBM wanted to dump their PC business anyway, because it is now a commodity business, why not use it as a pawn it a greater game with China?

However, IBM still makes high end Intel blade servers. What will happen when Lenovo starts to wander up into that end of the market?

Blades are largely irrelevant to the acquisition (2)

sirwired (27582) | about 2 years ago | (#38562236)

Except for the branding advantage of having a PC division, the blade market has nothing to do with the PC market. (And, that branding advantage was small enough that IBM took some cash and didn't look back when dumping it.) The design and manufacture of PC's has little to do with all but the lowest-end servers, except for the fact that they happen to use the same CPU instruction set. But motherboard engineers practically grow on trees, so that isn't much of an advantage at all.

I'm not saying Lenovo won't ever enter the server business, just that their acquisition of IBM's PC business doesn't provide them any technical skills enabling them to do so.

And?... (1)

sirwired (27582) | about 2 years ago | (#38562220)

IBM (and it's CEO), taking notice of the business climate in another country, accepted less short-term cash on an acquisition in order to help promote long-term sales. This is exactly the sort of decisions a CEO is paid to make; this is what we want them to do!

Agent of a Foreign Power (4, Insightful)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 2 years ago | (#38562244)

Should IBM be registered as the US agent of a foreign government? In the last year or so they stopped reporting how many people they employ on a per country basis. I can only assume that they did this so they could maintain an illusion that they were still a US-centric organization.

Given the way many large US based multinational companies behave, they routinely put their corporate interests at odds with the US government and economy. They ship as many jobs as they can overseas and doge taxes. GE paid no federal income tax last year. GM invested in it's China operations while it was in a bankruptcy funded by the US Treasury.

But since they are still "US" corporations they don't get the kind of scrutiny that would be required if they were not US based. It would be a lot more realistic to recognize that they have no meaningful commitment to the US and they act on their narrowly perceived economic goals. It would be better for the country if their access to the US political establishment was limited, based on how their economic interests driven by non-US governments.

Re:Agent of a Foreign Power (2)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about 2 years ago | (#38562306)

It would be a lot more realistic to recognize that they have no meaningful commitment to the US and they act on their narrowly perceived economic goals. It would be better for the country if their access to the US political establishment was limited, based on how their economic interests driven by non-US governments.

...and yet corporate interests reign supreme in U.S. politics, because what's good for them is 'good for the people of the U.S.' or so they would have you believe. How many examples like this are needed before people will stop coddling corporations who have absolultely *0* loyalty to the U.S. at all.

Re:Agent of a Foreign Power (1)

andydread (758754) | about 2 years ago | (#38562330)

Interesting insight there. If you pay no taxes you shouldn't be allowed to lobby the US Govt. Wait.... They purchase elections for congressmen and senators so they may look at that as the taxes they have paid no?

Definitely. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about 2 years ago | (#38562434)

Do it publicly, loudly, and in a way that their lobbyists can't object to witnessing.

Re:Agent of a Foreign Power (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | about 2 years ago | (#38562438)

Funny, that's not what they say to their own employees. IBM employees are told that they belong to a global company, working and doing business with everyone in the world. Also, even though they say they are global, they've got to be based somewhere, right? And lo and behold, it's in Armonk, New York [wikipedia.org] , not in the Cayman Islands (although I don't know whether they have a subsidiary there or not).

Re:Agent of a Foreign Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38563088)

IBM was a global company when I joined in 1965. They were gobal long before that. I know the Milan service bureau was operationg before 1952.

The outrage because it's China? (4, Insightful)

m00sh (2538182) | about 2 years ago | (#38562290)

Is the outrage because the country is China? Every laptop I've bought in the past five years have come from China.

I think the biggest fear we have is that China is now going to create companies that as the article says are global players. We have constantly dismissed China as a cheap labor pool where work would vanish if the wages went up, then as backstabbing reverse-engineers who dare betray the sacred trust of US companies of moving their operations to China for profit, and then to mindless cultural inferiors where American exceptionalism would outshine and blaze away anything the Chinese could do. Now, we're fighting the fear that Chinese could become global players with these thinly-veiled outrage stories.

As they used to say in the 80s movies, "are you afraid of a little competition?"

Re:The outrage because it's China? (2)

Dutchmaan (442553) | about 2 years ago | (#38562324)

I would say that China is just the Japan of the 80's, but the fact that they have massive resources and are trying to be more than just a financial powerhouse has my gut saying that they're going to be a major player and not just a decade fad like Japan was. China is basically what America was around WW2, an industrial powerhouse coming into it's own.

Which is the more reason to neutralize China (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about 2 years ago | (#38562490)

Since it is a mistake to allow people to aid and abet a foreign country that is actively hostile to the US - whether it is China or like-minded Third World countries.

My sig isn't there just for show, that's what I actually believe.

Re:The outrage because it's China? (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#38562554)

US wages need to drop to force prices down so we can compete.

That will force local prices down too.

Re:The outrage because it's China? (1)

Bravoc (771258) | about 2 years ago | (#38562582)

US wages need to drop to force prices down so we can compete.

OK, you first!

Re:The outrage because it's China? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 2 years ago | (#38563098)

That would heavily reduce the purchasing power of the USA and collapse it as a market to sell luxury goods to. Most of the things sold in the US are already made in China, they won't get significantly cheaper just because US wages are dropping. So people would simply be unable to buy as much which means both a lower quality of life and drastically reduced revenues for companies selling to the US.

The US economy would shrink massively while the US debts remain the same, including the interest payments. The debt to GDP ratio would skyrocket and the US would get into massive financial trouble.

If you want to avoid the debt issue you could go for hyperinflation but I don't think that would make anyone happy.

Surprised? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#38562336)

Nope. I have been writing here that IBM, GE, Dell, etc. are nothing but immoral companies. Heck, pointed out about the IBM's cooperation with NAZIs, and yet we get fools that scream that it was a one time thing. Most of AMerica's large businesses are worthless POS. What amazes me, is that most of the R&D that America paid for, is simply being handed over to China, but IBM wants America to pay them to do a super computer here, but have it built in China.

Just worthless POSs at IBM. I am glad that I am out of there now.

Maximum profit (1, Insightful)

octogen (540500) | about 2 years ago | (#38562356)

The IBM home page tells me about IBM's "responsibility" regarding things like:
societal issues
the environment
education
health
culture
(http://www.ibm.com/ibm/responsibility/index.html -- also click the links on the left, for example about politics)

But what's more important, is how to be good friends with chinese dictators who don't give a shit about any of the topics mentioned above, so as to make more $$$ by doing business with china.

I doubt that acting like this is going to turn this world into a "smarter planet".

The government still steers business (2)

qualityassurancedept (2469696) | about 2 years ago | (#38562374)

The problem with this whole topic is that it seems to imply that China is different that other countries... in particular that the US government doesn't do basically the same thing by different methods. The most egregious example is of course the bank bailout, where the US government gave US banks trillions of dollars to cover the losses they incurred in the course of their own freely chosen business activities. Another example would be how the US government continues to buy billions of dollars of airplanes from US companies (Boeing in particular) mostly as a way of keeping people employed and not because there is any real need. So, I would say that any reasonably objective person would say the US government still steers business too.

Perhaps the National Security objection was proper (0)

sethstorm (512897) | about 2 years ago | (#38562380)

Shame that someone in the US Government didnt smack down Big Blue for treason.

Re:Perhaps the National Security objection was pro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562988)

Shame that someone in the US Government didnt smack down Big Blue for treason.

They're too busy prosecuting themselves for all of the war crimes and assassinations they've committed over the years.

Re:Perhaps the National Security objection was pro (1)

xigxag (167441) | about 2 years ago | (#38563118)

How is this "treason"? The US government actively sought to encourage trade and investment between US and China, and IBM followed suit. If the US wanted to forbid business with China, we would've done so the same way we continued to embargo Cuba for many years.

Furthermore, selling for less so you can make more down the road, is part of good business strategy, no different from when milk goes on sale at the local supermarket, or when you change jobs to take a lower paying position in a growing company, or when software companies offer academic discounts, or when a credit card has an interest-free teaser rate.

ATENCION Zapatistas Slaslhdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562508)

Hola

Ave you seen my partridge in a pear tree?

Section8

British Spelling (1)

nomdeguerre (2345428) | about 2 years ago | (#38562898)

I first read this as "NYT: IBM PC Division Sold To Advance China's Gaols".

IBM: Nazi's and now agents of Chinese espionage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38562918)

IBM needs to be dismantled. First the company actively helps the Nazi's execute **millions** of people in germany (all the while laughing and partying and making tons of money) and now they are helping China become a world power intent on the complete destruction of america. Why is this company allowed to continue to exist and why are its employees not serving time in jail or preferably guantanamo? Oh that's right, there is a democrat in the white house.

I'm glad Dell's bid didn't win out... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 2 years ago | (#38563144)

... I shudder to think what Dell's cost-cutting frenzy would do to the quality of the ThinkPad line.

Goldman Sachs Brokered the Deal for Lenovo (1)

theodp (442580) | about 2 years ago | (#38563154)

BusinessWeek [businessweek.com] : "The deal's advocates faced a barrage of questions. In addition to Mary Ma, Lenovo's chief financial officer, the lineup included people from consultant McKinsey and investment bank Goldman Sachs (GS ). The directors' chief concern: Were Lenovo's execs really capable of running a complex global business? The breakthrough came after three days. The directors concluded that if Lenovo could recruit IBM's top execs to help manage the company, this merger could succeed. "The board felt there were positive solutions," says Liu."
LA Times [latimes.com] : "Also at stake in the deal are about $18 million in investment banking fees for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co., based on Bloomberg estimates. Merrill has advised IBM, and Goldman worked for Lenovo."

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