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Chinese approve Lenovo and IBM deal

Now only the US can stick a spanner in the works

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce's anti-monopoly bureau has approved Lenovo Group's proposed $2.3 billion deal to buy IBM Corp's low-end server business.

The deal, announced in January, is expected to be completed by the end of the year, said Lenovo Chief Executive Yang Yuanqing, but still requires U.S. regulatory approval. The US is dragging its feet over the deal because it is concerned that IBM has shedloads of Government contracts which it does not want a Chinese company gaining access. Lenovo has assured the US that those contracts will continue to be run by IBM.

It is a sign of mounting US paranoia that is more worried about Lenovo now than it was when the Chinese firm bought IBM’s Thinkpad a decade ago. The Chinese government can’t but help noticing the irony that in allowing the deal to go ahead, it is being more free market than US, which is falling over itself to bring in state controls of enterprise.

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