After struggling with China’s technology practices that favor Chinese tech firms and pose risks to data security, IBM has agreed to share its technology with Chinese firms. In 2013, after Snowden’s revelations, IBM’s China sales plummeted—add on numerous other problems facing the company, and it is pretty clear IBM needs to pursue every possible avenue of growth.
IBM’s decision also attacks trade secret risks head on. Rather than trying to prevent Chinese hackers from inevitably stealing IBM’s technology, the US firm and Berkshire Hathaway holding plans to actively partner with Chinese firms. They will be able to build everything from computer chips to data centers based on IBM’s technology. This move also comes amid IBM’s aggressive pursuit of Japanese markets, including recent partnerships with Softbank.