1. BACK-2-BLACK's Avatar
    Bloomeberg Article

    BlackBerry Seeks China Partnerships as CEO Meets Xiaomi - Bloomberg

    "BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY) Chief Executive Officer John Chen said hes interested in partnerships to expand in China, the worlds largest smartphone market, after meeting the heads of Xiaomi Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd. (992)

    BlackBerrys strengths in security, encryption and privacy are in demand in China and there may be opportunities for agreements on technology licensing, distribution or manufacturing, Chen said in an interview today in Beijing, where he was attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit.

    During the summit, Chen said he met with Xiaomis CEO Lei Jun, and Lenovos head Yang Yuanqing. These meetings with Chinas two largest smartphone vendors come at a time when BlackBerry is trying to return to growth after declining phone shipments dragged it to net losses in each of the past three years.

    It does seem that a more efficient way is to have a good partner to be here, Chen said in the interview. Im here this time to look at what opportunities there may be. We have not really focused on this market. Its a huge market but its a very highly competitive market too.

    Chen said he also met Cher Wang, chairwoman of Taoyuan, Taiwan-based HTC Corp. (2498)

    Chen took the helm a year ago to lead a turnaround after shipments of its smartphones plunged in the past four years as it struggles to compete with touch-screen devices produced by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. The Hong Kong native outsourced some production, sold property and focused on business customers by bringing back phones with signature physical keyboards and offering more software-based services.

    Passport Smartphone

    In 2013, there were 19.2 million smartphones shipped with the BlackBerry operating system compared with 51.1 million units in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    The company in September released its new square-screened Passport smartphone which sold 200,000 units in its debut. The device is designed for business users who write e-mails, study spreadsheets and read documents on their phones.

    Chen has said that hes already at work on a new concept for devices set to debut next year, including one at Mobile World Congress in March. Another version of the Passport is also in the works, he has said.

    The company got 16 percent of its sales from the Asia-Pacific region during the fiscal year that ended in March, compared with 19 percent from the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    Growth Opportunity

    This is Chens first trip to China as CEO.

    Chen said his talks in China dont imply the company is for sale.

    Im not looking to sell the company, Chen said. Im very much looking to operate the company as an independent company.

    Now that the company is returning to firmer financial footing, Chen said the China market is one area where he is looking for growth. Out of more than 40 million BlackBerry users worldwide, Chen estimates only a few hundred thousand units have been sold in China.

    Chen declined to provide details on the content of his conversations with Lenovo and Xiaomi, and representatives of the two Beijing-based companies didnt immediately reply to e-mailed requests for comment. He cautioned it is way early to be looking for results from the talks in China.

    What Im doing is to explore what is the right approach to the market given what we do well and Im not shutting any doors, Chen said. This market is not an easy one to get deals done quickly. Its going to take a while, but Im interested.

    To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Edmond Lococo in Beijing at elococo@bloomberg.net; Stephen Engle in Beijing at sengle1@bloomberg.net; Christine Hah in Beijing at chah@bloomberg.net

    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net Robert Fenner, Subramaniam Sharma "
    11-10-14 11:56 AM
  2. sk8er_tor's Avatar
    Could be interesting.
    11-10-14 12:31 PM
  3. cbvinh's Avatar
    You didn't quote this part:

    "New Phone

    Chen has said that hes already at work on a new concept for devices set to debut next year, including one at Mobile World Congress in March. Another version of the Passport is also in the works, he has said.
    "

    At least two new devices!
    BACK-2-BLACK likes this.
    11-10-14 12:35 PM
  4. Rello's Avatar
    Licensing?!?!?

    I say at this point, it's a good move

    Posted via CB10
    11-10-14 12:59 PM
  5. hoonigan99's Avatar
    Licensing could be a huge opportunity! If any of these manufacturers partner with BlackBerry to release bb10 phones in china under their brand there would be huge growth in OS penetration and market share, which will help fund development for bb10 and further popularize bbm. Make a deal Chen, let's get Chinese consumers worshiping bb10 before android takes hold!

    BB for Life
    11-10-14 05:38 PM
  6. gebco's Avatar
    I thought the common wisdom was that partnering with or buyout by a Chinese company left BlackBerry open to security/spying vulnerability??

    Posted via CB10
    11-10-14 05:57 PM
  7. cbvinh's Avatar
    I thought the common wisdom was that partnering with or buyout by a Chinese company left BlackBerry open to security/spying vulnerability??
    If the Chinese company only builds the device, it's probably fine, like the Foxconn deal... though I suppose malware could be injected into USB streams...
    11-10-14 08:33 PM
  8. Blackberry_Boss's Avatar
    I'd probably buy a nexus 6 with BB10 on it lol and a nexus 9 with BB10. As for the passport 2 they should keep the size but add another row of keys. Just let the number and punctuation marks pop up on screen. That would solve a few problems people have with the phone along with that small space bar.

    Posted via my BeastBerry Z30
    11-10-14 10:03 PM
  9. berry_field's Avatar
    U have to kowtow to the notorious censorship made by the BeiJing authority before making business in China.
    In that case BB would lose their advantage in security and privacy that they are renowed for.
    Now although BB have not concerned too much about the market in china, chinese BB users cannt
    update their official twitter APP thru BBW.
    11-16-14 10:30 PM

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