A Whole Lot to Swallow

Shortly before IBM announced the end of an era, its China employees gathered in the conference room of the firm's Beijing office. There, company officials told them that IBM, which practically invented personal computers, would sell its PC unit to a Chinese competitor, Lenovo (formerly Legend). The 60 or so attendees learned that, upon joining Lenovo, they would become the backbone of the world's third biggest computer maker. Hours later, a proud headline in the online edition of the People's Daily summarized the $1.25 billion deal: "China's IT Industry Has Stood Up." Yet the mood in the room was short on...

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