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U.S. Approves IBM/Lenovo Sale 217

Posted by timothy
from the nipple-mouse-now-unamerican dept.
MartinB writes with the "Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review result: unanimous approval for the sale to go ahead, with no further external approvals needed. No compromises were required over the location of Lenovo facilities in sensitive research areas, nor were limits put on Lenovo's ability to sell PCs to U.S. agencies."
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U.S. Approves IBM/Lenovo Sale

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  • by Serveert (102805) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:44PM (#11891357)
    Happy times are here again.
    • I should explain.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Serveert (102805) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:55PM (#11891496)
      IBM is faced with the same dillema HP faces.

      The only way to make money in the PC biz is by selling directly to consumers, bypassing the supply chain of stores, merchants, etc. But this conflicts with, among other things, IBM's consulting business which relies upon dealing with people, building relationships, rubbing backs, etc., etc.

      HP faces a similar problem. The only way for them to make money in the PC biz is to sell directly to consumers. But this conflicts with their need for pushing printers and printer supplies which requires using the supply chain.

      Instead HP is shedding money with their PC selling business and not doing so well in the printer biz. Good job Carly! But I digress.

      Let the Chinese have the fun task of competing head on with Dell, IBM will do what they do best.
      • The only way to make money in the PC biz is by selling directly to consumers, bypassing the supply chain of stores, merchants, etc.

        I dunno, Apple seems to be doing pretty well.
      • by jester22c (613967)
        You're exactly right.

        IBM makes a great deal of their PC sales through business/government contracts in which X machines are purchased and supported for X number of years.

        Their business image has faded in late and their contracts have migrated to other vendors. I provide hardware support within a large corporation. Our IBM contract was nixed a long time ago for Dell whom has served us much better.

        IBM... China can keep 'em

    • Good news for tech
      Happy times are here again.

      Words can be found here [pythonland.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    .............just kidding ;)
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:45PM (#11891370) Homepage Journal
    The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved the sale of Slashdot to Elbonian investors. New color schemes will be in earth tones. "Yes, different colors of mud!", stated one of the eventual new managers of the enterprise.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The x86 is done.
    • Hmm, looks like anything that remotely praises Apple gets modded up on slashdot. So here we go... Steve Jobs <3 <3 <3
    • Windows is done (Score:5, Interesting)

      by w42w42 (538630) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:59PM (#11891544)
      Windows isn't really done, but this was my thought when IBM put their pc business up for sale. Back in the day, it was this group because of pressure from Microsoft that would put up internal ibm roadblocks to their own OS/2. I imagine they initially weren't that friendly to Linux, either. Dumping this low-margin business though has the added benefit of letting IBM focus on their hardware and services. If IBM wants to sell Linux, OS/400, Windows, etc, there's not much msft can do about it legally or otherwise now.

      • Previously Sun was really the only big computer maker without an OEM relationship with Microsoft (still true), but now it appears IBM is wrestling themselve out, too? That would be great for Microsoft's karma (approaching -MAX_INT, I believe). If this allows them to push Linux over Windows, then we'll finally start seeing a really big push for more open standards--that is if IBM doesn't muck it up with 'custom solutions'.

    • The x86 is done.

      What about the Dragon [theinquirer.net] CPU? You know, the homebrew one which will keep China free from IP shackles in the Santa Clara?

    • eh, what about Dell, 6% profit on 49 BILLION $ in revenue and growing isn't too shabby.
  • by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:48PM (#11891406) Homepage
    Orgnisations with bucket loads of money get a decision they want. Film at 11.
  • No biggie... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PortHaven (242123) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:48PM (#11891414) Homepage
    THis was only on the "security" issues...

    In truth, most all of the materials are now made in China, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, etc.

    So in such light PC and component manufacturering really doesn't pose a "security" risk. Which is what this was ALL about.

    The jobs aren't there to begin with...so no worry over loss of jobs moving to China.
    • I beg your pardon. These pc's come with code. That code will be created and loaded by another country that certainly mixes more politics and business than we do, well that seems to be changing.

      What could happen. Well thousands of PC's delivered with back doors embedded. Possibly like a number of Electronic voting machines that do not disclose their source code.

      We of course are economic partners with China, well maybe not on the issues of Taiwan independance or North Korean behavior or Tibet. Wasn't there
      • The PC makers buy the processors from Intel (or AMD)
        the hard drives from Maxtor or Seagate or WDC ...
        The software is mostly from Microsoft.
        I could go on and on here.
        the only real technology challange is the thermal design. How do you get the heat out.
        IBM is not selling technology to China.

        If someone is worried about security and back doors, their PC is going to be a major security risk regardless of the nationality of the Brand on the box. If someone wants security they should not be buying a

        • The point being that political agenda's can effect work being done for other countries. A good example was the U.S. Embasy in Moscow which I believe was found to have implanted listening devices.

          Our FBI has constructed viruses to slip in and tap into a persons key strokes. Our governemt lobbied to use weaker encryption so only they could break it with their computers. They want security key escoroles. Eschalon (http://www.tripzine.com/print.asp?id=eschalon) exists. Not talking about paranoia but just the c
  • Perhaps there will be jobs in China for me to work in? At least the food is better, if not as diverse.
    • Yeah, but it'll be even harder to find a wife... gender-selective abortions have been quite popular in China for several decades now.

      P.S. doesn't China have at least 4 different dialects and regional cuisines?

    • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:59PM (#11891551) Homepage Journal
      Perhaps there will be jobs in China for me to work in? At least the food is better, if not as diverse.

      Yeah, they probably don't actually use MSG in all the restaurants over there. You will probably notice the food looks a bit more rustic than the local Ho-Lee Chow [holeechow.com] or a can of La Choy.

      The BBC has been carrying a number of analysis articles on China, where the economy is booming and where it isn't. Still shooting for 7% growth this year and they'll probably make it, while the rest of the world scrambles to sell them raw materials. Notice mining and steel companies are suddenly hot items?

      • by aquarian (134728)
        Yeah, they probably don't actually use MSG in all the restaurants over there.

        Fat chance! Where do you think the idea came from? They use piles of it, literally. There's often a mound of it next to the stove, where a Western chef would have his salt/pepper/herbs/spices.

        • I'm sorry you got ripped off, but you'll never get a good chinese meal at restuarants that cater for "foreigners". What you need is to visit a friend, maybe from Hong Kong or Shanghai or Taipei and ask them to show you around the local eateries. You'll be surprised at the selection and quality of the local food. (Of course, ask them to order stuff which is palatible to you, nothing you find gross)

          MSG was actually introduced by the Japanese, first as a seasoning, and then in ready-made foods. Now it's just
      • But they are outruning their infrastructure. They dont have the power distirbution, water, roads, etc to support that kind of sustained growth. It should be interesting to see what happens.

      • Yeah, they probably don't actually use MSG in all the restaurants over there.

        Of course, you do know that Doritios has more glutamate than you'll find in any Chinese restaurant? Lipton soups, progresso soups, McD's chicken sandwiches, KFC, all of these have enough glutamate to trigger reactions for those sensitive to MSG. But of course, none of these products say they contain MSG. More info here. [wholefoods.com]

        Of course, MSG is used pretty freely in China and Japan; if you want something without MSG, you'd better ask
      • I realise this is OT, but...

        I traveled to China recently. I'll say this: Chinese food in the USA is nothing like real Chinese food.

        I particularly remember some sweet/sour chicken I got there. In the US, you get these pretty nuggets of white meat and sauce on them. In China, you get... well pretty much the whole chicken. It's like the took the whole thing (minus the feathers and major organs) and chucked it into a shredder. Spinal cord and all.

        It was an odd experience.

        One of the best meals I had there was

    • You haven't looked in Chinese kitchens in China. Its one reason they cook everything including the water.
  • Surprised (Score:3, Interesting)

    by northcat (827059) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:49PM (#11891422) Journal
    I'm surprised that they even thought of stopping the deal. I've always viewed USA as a country that tries very hard to support businesses.
    • Shell Games (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @03:28PM (#11891932) Homepage Journal
      Yes, but for generations the USA business support was dressed up in attacks on Communism. IBM is a symbol of American business (the "B" stands for "Business") - selling their PC biz to a Chinese company is a little strange, in that light. But it really just shows how "Communism" and "Capitalism" are just the ways to describe how governments do business, which would be an unacceptable mix in a pure version of either system.
      • Even further;

        When a large US company is in business, there are certain practices and standards they are held to. They cannot actively have an explioted workforce and they have financial tracking requirements (SOX/COBIT) etc...

        With this sale, we will see that in fact this company WILL be able to compete with DELL etc as they will resort to effectual slave labor to build the machines...
        • This concern is a mutual interest for American (and other free labor market) geeks and corporations like Dell. We should be able to find a way to unite P2P (grassroots) organizations with the focused lobbying Dell buys, to set US policy towards forcing China to free its labor force, or to protect US trade from such unfair competition. Regardless of the genuine merit of such a position, the combination of reaches by both sides of the common interest should be more effective than seeing each other as separate
  • IBM Hardware (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:50PM (#11891438)
    What will become of the beloved Thinkpads? Will Lenovo continue to maintain the same level of quality that IBM has?

    More interestingly, I'd be interested to see if IBM started producing affordable powerpc laptops and desktops running Linux. It seems Microsoft can no longer wield the Windows tax against IBM.
    • Re:IBM Hardware (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      With the XBox 2 using a form of windows on powerpc, that may not be tur for long. If powerpc does start to gain significant marketshare, don't doubt that Microsoft wouldn't port a version of windows to it again, like with NT 4.0.
    • *I am an IBM Employee but I don't work in PC section*

      I think Thinkpad will still be what it is as long as they are using IBM logo - I believe IBM would not let lenovo stick an IBM logo on anything that is not up to our standard. Thinkpad has been manufactured in Shenzhen, Southern China since a few years ago and I still drop my thinkpad and not sweating a bit...

      Though when they finally removed IBM logo from Thinkpad, I may start to consider whether they still keeping the same quality

    • I don't know if you'll find his reassuring, or if you'll think it's propaganda, but this ad started running a couple of weeks ago in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times:

      ThinkPad Now. And ThinkPad Always.

      To IBM ThinkPad customers everywhere:

      ThinkPad has won more awards than any other PC in the world.

      We're deeply proud of this, because it means that ThinkPad owners can get more done, be better protected, and keep a competitive edge - from air-bag-like technology, to protect against drop

  • by Ubergrendle (531719) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:52PM (#11891453) Journal
    The article is ~ 5 minutes old, and there's 10+ anti-china/america sold out posts already.

    China and Taiwan ~already~ mass-produce the vast majority of systems components, their final assembly was pretty much the only remaining domestic manufacturing process. Also, IBM is being VERY wise in this regard, cashing in a unit that has very little future projected revenue growth and miniscule profit margins, and will gain the capital for some future expansion. PCs are a commodity business, and with the exception of Dell are probably a loss-leader for most companies now (e.g. IBM, HP/Compaq).

    This is a wise business move by IBM, and it was wise for the US gov't to involve themselves in the sale. The technology is 20+ years old, the industry is commoditised, and its all open-standards based... there is no strategic threat here.
    • The article is ~ 5 minutes old, and there's 10+ anti-china/america sold out posts already.
      Well, that's why they should keep the commoditised industry here. Otherwise where will these posters work then?
    • global goggles (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @03:35PM (#11892018) Homepage Journal
      The IBM/Lenovo sale is IBM's strategy to sell past China's protectionist trade barriers. It's gotten wide support because it's probably unique in requiring the Chinese company to move some operations to the US, to allow IBM to use them to reach the Chinese market with the rest of their products and services. It's kind of odd how your pro-globalism post bashes people suspicious of IBM sending essential industry to China, but doesn't complain about those Chinese protectionist barriers. Is your "globalism" really just a cover for a culture war you prefer to actual free global trade?
    • Yes very wise to devest the country with the manufacture of an essential commodity. Wise for the executives and investors to eliminate domestic jobs. Very wise on so many levels. Yes wise, well maybe greedy and self serving, but then that is the only wisdom and only value in the capitalistic system as it is currently conceived. I keep thinking there must be a better way.
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:53PM (#11891475)
    Does this deal leave IBM free to persue building a new PC based on Cell Processor and/or PowerPC technology, instead of the increasingly less efficient x86? If so, selling off the trailing edge x86 business would just be a smart business move, wouldn't it?
    • Hmm... are you thinking a really cheap version of this? [ibm.com]

      1-way SMP with 1.0GHz or 1 or 2-way 1.45GHz POWER4+ microprocessor
      1.5MB L2 and 8MB ECC L3 cache
      Up to 16GB of ECC SDRAM memory with Chipkill
      Up to 4 Ultra320 SCSI hot-swap 10K or 15K RPM disk drives
      Six PCI-X adapter slots
      Gigabit Ethernet and 10/100 Ethernet standard
      Select from 2D and 3D graphics accelerators
      IBM's CATIA V4 performance leader.
      • It's a pretty nice machine but would a low-cost version really compete well against an Opteron-based workstation?
        • Well, keep in mind, IBM could switch to the commodity PowerPC 970(FX), and use cheaper components. Here's specs on the cheapest one, for those too lazy to click the link:

          CPU: 1x 1GHz POWER4+ (32-bit, it seems)
          GPU: GXT135P (16MB VRAM) (2D GPU)
          Net: Gigabit, 10/100
          RAM: 1GB DDR
          HDD: 36.4GB U320 SCSI 10,000RPM
          Optical drive: NONE
          Floppy drive: NONE (why bother, though?)
          Sound card: NONE
          Input devices: Keyboard, three button mouse (no wheel? ;-))

          As I said, cheaper components. PowerPC 970FX instead of POWER4+, commod
    • Cringley [pbs.org] has been mulling over this in recent columns... His theory is that IBM pulling out of the PC market releases them from Microsoft's OEM stranglehold, and by investing more time, money and effort into the Cell processor, they may be looking to free themselves of Intel's hold, too. Cell-powered, unix/linux servers? Wild speculation it may be, but it's believable.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @02:58PM (#11891531)
    American Manufacturing died to day after a long illness. Repeated attempts to save American jobs and secure a domestic manufacturing base in case of war were repeatedly rejected by the new American ruling class who no are no longer responsible to a once powerful American middle class. Spokesmen for the powerful said that the death of manufacturing promotes growth, despite the fact America had higher growth rates when it did manufacture things. In related news, illegal immigration and guest worker visas rose dramaticly and new tax breaks for the super wealthy were enacted. Stay tuned to official news sources like the New York Times and Fox News and don't bitch.

  • PCs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by d3matt (864260)
    So IBM developed the PC and brought the current rendition to market. Fortunately for us and for all PC users they allowed their designs to be copied (clones anyone) thus putting apple forever in the dark. Since they did this, market forces have determined that IBM should no longer be in the PC business. Frankly, who cares? There are thousdands of other businesses that makes PCs now. The only reason I would care is if Lenovo gets the IP that encompasses the PC they may try to charge royalties for anyone
    • So IBM developed the PC

      No, they were about the last to jump into the market.

      and brought the current rendition to market. Fortunately for us and for all PC users they allowed their designs to be copied (clones anyone)
      No, they fought the clones tooth and nail. Several were successfully sued for copying IBM's BIOS. Only those that were able to get a reverse-engineered BIOS survived.

      thus putting apple forever in the dark. Since they did this, market forces have determined that IBM should no longer be i
  • Oh. Oops.
  • by chiph (523845) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @03:10PM (#11891697)
    So, does this mean that IBM is finally out from under the Microsoft joint-development agreement, that dates back to the days of the original PC and PC-XT?

    Chip H.
  • Why the naysayers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by delta_avi_delta (813412) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [yhprum.evad]> on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @03:18PM (#11891802)
    I don't understand the negative reaction. Production is no longer in the US, but that is not where the money is. IBM realised that they could make a lot of money (and, incidentally, create a lot of relatively high paid, relatively pleasant jobs) by abstracting further up the value chain, to supply services and consultants. It matters not a fig to most companies who provides their computers, but many large companies cannot operate without IBM services. So we have a company that no provides high skilled, high payed jobs to the US workforce instead of low payed, low skilled manufacturing jobs.
    • Didn't you forget those people who now have a job with them that won't. They probably won't be getting those relatively high paid relatively pleasant jobs.

      Its a house of cards. Lets be carefull that the bottom cards can't be pulled out by somone we don't know, isn't really our friend, and we don't have any controls over. It comes down to who's self interest is in charge. We see that with the current administration that is trying to re-make not only the entire country but then entire world in their own mode
  • IBM (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    owie. the IBM logo hurts my eyes.
  • It's funny that Americans, looked at globalisation as the key to their future success. I remember back in the early 90s they would pressurize the Europeans into it.

    Look at them now. Sure they got cheap labor and upturned local markets everywhere, but globalisation is distributing the riches from the first world countries right down to the poorer nations. They never really figured that out quite rightly.

    Yes, yes, the people in control are of course getting richer but the avg guy is actually earning le

  • Chinkpads

    go ahead, all you PC-people... mod me into oblivion, even though you smiled when you read it.
  • by bigpat (158134) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @03:44PM (#11892169)
    "We Delivery"
  • The word is IBM is using the Lenovo connection to get into the China market. And from the whole WAPI thing, the Chinese government might just be anti-western-dominated-standards enough to support a POWER-powered desktop on the mainland.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @04:00PM (#11892405) Homepage Journal
    At least that's what we're planning for the huge flag on the side of the building to greet our new Overlords.

    The funniest irony of all was that the PC Division, that rathole they poured billions down which rarely if ever made a profit finally made a huge chunk of change selling itself off and as a result those employees are getting the largest bonuses in the company, on a division by division basis. Lesson learned? Fuck your business up until someone buys it at firesale prices then claim a huge a victory, rake in your pile of cash. All the other IBM divisions should learn from this.
  • Not again... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MHobbit (830388)
    I hate this, now the Chinese are digesting our good companies, and we're letting them.
  • My POV (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RogueLeaderX (845092) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @04:41PM (#11892992)
    I agree with those who view this as a smart move by IBM. Here's why:

    1. They sell a branch of the company that was often losing money for cold hard cash.

    2. They get 19% of a Chinese company, giving them a way past China's trade barriars. They get a headstart on everyone else providing high end technology services to a booming Chinese economy that lacks said expertese and has the means to pay for it. Meanwhile HP languishes under two divisions of PC manufacturing (HP & Compaq.) Way to go Carly ... but I digress.

    3. Did I mention that this gives IBM a way to sell products and services to the Chinese? Potentially billions to be made before the Chinese technology providers mature to IBM's level. (Note: I'm not saying that China lacks intelligent people, it's just that the US/Western world has spents decades longer training thousands more techs. It won't take them long to catchup though.)

    4. If the US screws up their economy too bad IBM has a lifeline! I really hope that letting the dollar fall in value helps with the trade gap and makes it possible for US manufacturing to pick back up. I do not think that the US economy will crash in 10 or 20 years. I do worry that it will crash in 50 to 100 years. I also fear that the US will decide the best thing to do is plunder a few countries via conquest with their surplus military equipment ... anyway, that's hopeless speculation. Although, economically we are similar to Rome militarily.
    The Romans were so confident in their legions that they stopped inovating. After all, they conquered everyone worth conquering, right? Wrong, they got beat by wandering nomads who actually fought differently than the Romans were used to: how dare they?! Western based companies, often spear headed by American companies, have dominated the economy for fifty years now, but people are starting to play by their own rules. Will they be able to compete or will the 'barbarians' decimate their legions with unorthodox tactics. I honestly hope something in the middle happens ... but now this is just the rambling of an IT guy who majored in History.
  • by CaptainPinko (753849) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @07:48PM (#11895024)
    IBM for one welcome our new Chinese laptop overlords.
  • We outsourced to IBM and they are already dealing with China directly. They were not waiting for approval, they were already in full swing. When the Chinese New Year struck we had to wait for hundreds of IBM hardware orders to ship while the Chinese factories simply shutdown. Thanks to 'Just In Time', IBM didn't have any in stock in the USA and had to wait for the Chinese shipment.

    All of the shipments still go through customs. I ordered an Apple PowerBook online to get the cheaper model and upgrade it

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