John Chen meets with Lenovo, Xiaomi, and HTC to explore BlackBerry growth in China

John Chen BlackBerry CEO

In an interview at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit, BlackBerry CEO John Chen indicated an interest in exploring partnerships to expand the company’s presence in China. BlackBerry received 16 percent of its sales during the last fiscal year from the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Having met with the heads of Lenovo, Xiaomi, and HTC, Chen stated that security, encryption, and privacy were in demand in China, providing licensing, distribution, and manufacturing opportunities.

“I’m here this time to look at what opportunities there may be,” he said. “We have not really focused on this market. It’s a huge market but it’s a very highly competitive market too.”

BlackBerry’s CEO indicated that this focus on expansion is part of the second phase of his recovery plan for the company. Speaking to Reuters this week, he said:

“We will survive as a company and now I am rather confident. We’re managing the supply chain, we are managing inventories, we are managing cash, and we have expenses now at a number that is very manageable. BlackBerry has survived; now we have to start looking at growth.”

The company received a major vote of confidence this quarter from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which bought almost 7.8 million BlackBerry shares as of September 30th. A 1.6 stake of the company valued at about $84.5 million, the investment makes the retirement fund one of BlackBerry’s top 10 holders.

[source]The Globe and Mail[/source]