Seven months after its CEO made known of the plan to acquire BlackBerry, Lenovo signed a non-disclosure agreement with the Canadian firm.
According to Forbes, Lenovo Group signed the agreement with BlackBerry last Thursday in preparation for a bid to acquire the struggling company. While it is impossible for a Chinese firm to take over BlackBerry due to security concerns, Forbes believes it is part of a grand plan to destroy BlackBerry from inside out by having a legitimate reason to look into BlackBerry's books, a similar strategy that the Chinese used to bankrupt another Canadian technology company, Nortel Networks.
Chinese hackers were believed to have hacked into the internal networks of Nortel throughout the 2000s. Having gained access to almost everything on Nortel, Chinese competitors were able to underbid on projects which eventually led to the bankruptcy of Nortel. This led to Nortel splitting up and its parts sold off.
BlackBerry is different; the Pentagon claims that the Chinese hackers have not hacked into BlackBerry's internal networks.There are several factors in play that will ultimately prevent a takeover by Lenovo.
First, the Canadian government can use The Investment Canada Act and other regulations to block the acquisition. In addition, Lenovo's equipment has already been banned from classified networks in Canada, the U.S, Britain, Australia and New Zealand.
Second, Canada strongly opposes acquisitions of its home-grown companies by foreigners. The government has rejected three proposed foreign takeovers since it came to power in 2006.
Third, BlackBerry is widely used by the Canadian government, the U.S Defense Department and other top level government officials. Fourth, there are two other Chinese companies which were considering to buy BlackBerry but gave up in the end as they knew the Canadian government would not give its approval.
BlackBerry announced in August that it is exploring "strategic alternatives to enhance value and increase scale" to accelerate the deployment of BlackBerry 10. Some of the alternatives include possible joint ventures, strategic partnerships or alliances, a sale of the Company or other possible transactions.