by Brett

Chinese Citizens Peeved At Dell Employee's Clumsy Sales Pitch

from the red-faced dept

Lenovo's purchase of IBM's PC business has had political and cultural implications since day one, spurred in part by the close government ties of Lenovo's largest shareholoder. The folks at Dell dismissed the deal as a strong threat to their business, but it seems one Dell salesperson didn't get the message. An alleged email reprinted in the Chinese press warns IBM customers against supporting the Chinese government when purchasing Lenovo products. Needless to say, this has raised considerable ire in China. A huge number of people polled there said the email violates fair competition rules. Of course, Dell issued a statement apologizing for the employee's comments and noting they are not representative of the company's position. Still, it's interesting to see this incident touching such a cultural nerve. We've heard (unsubstantiated) stories of how factories in China produce most every brand of computer, and we wouldn't be surprised if these Chinese firms outsource for both Lenovo and Dell. Either way, the country stands to benefit from Dell's success there (just as the U.S. could from Lenovo's success here). This only goes to show that sometimes the cultural and political issues get in the way of economic common sense.

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