China's Lenovo seeks to acquire Blackberry-maker RIM
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Cybersecurity experts said Lenovo would likely go up against tough U.S. government scrutiny as well since the Defense Department and other agencies rely on the Blackberry, which is considered more secure than other smartphones.
Should Lenovo acquire RIM, it could lose a major client - the U.S. government - as U.S. officials would be reluctant to use products owned by a Chinese company due to national security concerns, analysts say.
"A potential acquisition of RIM by Lenovo would raise a number of important security issues," said Michael Wessel, a Commissioner on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, appointed by Congress.
"Government employees are one of the largest users of RIM's BlackBerry products and the security of their communications has to be of paramount concern," said Wessel, adding that he was speaking on behalf of himself and not the Commission.
After the comments from Lenovo, a RIM spokesman said the company had nothing new to report on its strategic review.
RIM shares closed 2.2 percent higher at $17.74 on Thursday the Nasdaq. The Toronto-listed shares closed 2.9 percent higher at C$17.80. RIM is a volatile stock, and moves of 3 percent and more are not uncommon.
Its shares are down almost 90 percent from an all-time high of over $148 in 2008, but the stock has rallied in the last four months as the launch of the BlackBerry 10 devices nears. The company's shares have nearly tripled in value since dipping as low as $6.22 in late September.
Lenovo's shares fell 2.73 percent in Hong Kong during Friday trade, after closing 6.6 percent higher in the previous session.
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