What do Beijing, China and Morrisville, North Carolina have in common? They’re each home to one of two principal facilities of Lenovo.
Lenovo is headquartered in Beijing, but its products are sold in one hundred and sixty countries around the world. It has research centers across China, one in Japan, and one with its manufacturing facility in North Carolina. Not only that, but the company has a joint venture with NEC to produce specific products for the Japanese market.
What makes Lenovo distinctive is that it was the first large scale Chinese computer manufacturer. Since its founding in 1984 by Liu Chuanzjhi, Lenovo has expanded broadly to make a wide variety of products, including peripherals, televisions, printers, scanners, supercomputers, storage devices, personal computers, servers, desktop computers, notebooks, tablet computers, netbooks, and smartphones.
A major reason that Lenovo has been able to remain relevant is that it has continued to smartly acquire companies that enhance its brands. The company has a specialized team that works to integrate new companies into its corporate culture and brand. The company has always been passionate and protective of its quality and distinctive customer services.
One of the largest and most important acquisitions in the history of Lenovo came when it purchased the personal computer arm of IBM in 2005. At the time, IBM was struggling against its newer competitors and made the decision to move from the personal computer market into other ventures. Lenovo jumped on the opportunity, effectively expanding its reach and adding to its product value.
The IBM integration was an especially critical one for Lenovo. As part of the deal, Lenovo paid one and a quarter billion dollars for the company while also paying off five hundred million dollars of IBM’s debt. Lenovo got the rights to sell IBM’s Thinkpad brand, which shored up Lenovo’s product sales.
As part of the deal. IBM acquired an eighteen percent stake in Lenovo’s personal computing arm as well.
Integrating the two corporate cultures faced many challenges but was ultimately successful. The history of this particular acquisition is one of the most studied in business, as it’s final success was long in question.
Other notable companies that Lenovo has acquired include Datacore, Fujitsu, Motorola Mobility, Stoneware, CCE, NEC, and Medion.
The most major controversies that have challenged Lenovo surround security concerns. Malware was identified on its laptops in 2015, a discovery that ended in a settlement for three and a half million dollars with the United States Federal Trade Commission. There were other scandals involving security for Lenovo products. These include issues with suspicious software and search engine bloatware that made its way onto Lenovo marketed items.
At various times the company has also faced issues with its hardware, including a series of malfunctioning keyboards on its Thinkpad products.
Majoring in Marketing
The marketing push for Lenovo has been a major selling point in its brand expansion. Lenovo has relied on massive advertising expenditures, including partnerships with the Olympics and with the NFL.
Lenovo partnered with NASA and YouTube for the Space Lab project, which allowed students to device experiments that were performed onboard the International Space Station in 2011.
With over thirty years in business, Lenovo is a tech brand that continues to challenge the future, helping both businesses and individuals to meet their potential.