Lenovo's BlackBerry bid blocked by Canada over security concerns

Before BlackBerry ousted its CEO and opted to finance and shake up things even further on the executive level, Beijing-based Lenovo considered a bid to buy the struggling company.

We reported in October that Lenovo's name surfaced when BlackBerry went up for sale, but it appears those plans were thwarted by the Canadian government. Specifically, the government told the smartphone company, headquartered in Ontario, that it would reject a "Chinese takeover because of national security concerns", according to The Globe and Mail.

The report - citing sources familiar with the situation - clarified that BlackBerry is deeply woven into Canada’s telecom infrastructure, and therefore a sale to a Chinese company would not go down well. BlackBerry apparently understood, and never submitted a proposal in regards to Lenovo acquiring a stake.

Interesting. Especially because Toronto, Canada's largest city, is considered one of the most diverse cities in the world, with the 2006 census recording that Toronto's population was nearly 50 per cent foreign born. In fact, South Asian and Chinese are currently the most prominent minority groups. Still, Ottawa, Canada's capital, views a Chinese takeover of BlackBerry as putting the entire country at risk.

Read: BlackBerry won't shut down handset business, despite ousting CEO

But all that doesn't matter now. BlackBerry already dumped the idea of selling, and it instead appointed a new CEO, John Chen, who has already announced a turnaround that could take at least six quarters.

Part of Chen's plans to stage a comeback for BlackBerry include maintaining a handset business, shaking up the company's executive team, adding new talent to the mix and various promotions for some people already in the system.



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