Lenovo: Time for another refresh?
Lenovo’s strategic choices and implementation – successes and failures

“If we lose our shared aspirations, what will we become?” is classic advertising copy in China, neatly referencing the characters of Lenovo’s Chinese name. But Lenovo Group has lost the aura of unlimited connection, and no longer feels inspired. A granddaddy of Chinese private business, Lenovo is also a high tech elder. Taking a 20-year timeframe however, Huawei has earned twice Lenovo’s revenue. Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and (BATJ), China’s looming internet giants, have now fully caught up. Lenovo represents technology as it was. Its poor stamina for change has led to flat earnings of around RMB 300 billion for many years in a row.


More worrying than its scale of operations is Lenovo’s limited appeal in technological innovation. Its phone business has underperformed. Forays into online education, e-commerce, and AI have failed to grow. Capital markets reflect public and investor disappointment: Lenovo Group was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for just HKD 4.99 per share on October 31, 2018, a total market capitalization of HKD 60 billion, only a third of its peak market value. Its valuation has been left in the dust by BATJ. What happened to this once brilliant superstar? Can Lenovo make a comeback in the smart era?

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