Chinese Market Not On BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY)’s Priority List

BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) CEO John Chen is eying developing markets in Asia to revive the company. However, pushing aggressively in World’s largest smartphone market China is not on the top priority of the company.

Information security main concern

Chen, who has been on the helm of turnaround for the past year, told Reuters that concerns over the tussle between security and political will dims the priority of China for BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) as of now. He noted that if the company extends its offering in China then it will have to comply with the governments requests for user data, and the Waterloo Ontario-based company will have to offer a level of security that both Chinese and Western authorities were comfortable with.

“I don’t want to get sucked into a geopolitical equation,” he said.

A few years back in India, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) allowed the Indian government to read some encrypted communications, but not the message from its corporate customers. He said that even if the company has cash then it will try to earn better returns by expanding into markets it already serves like India, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

BlackBerry does not need cash

Chen, who is widely known as turnaround CEO after reviving the software firm Sybase during 2000, said that he had meetings with Chinese government officials, investors and telecom carriers in Beijing. Chen, also, had meetings with executives from Lenovo and Smartphone makers Xiaomi and HTC Corp.

Chen mentioned that BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) will consider partnering Asian companies that can offer something substantial other than cash because the company is already sitting on cash pile of $3 billion.

The company is moving aggressively in India and Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, Chen said during an interview in Beijing this week, when he went to mainland China attending Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. “It takes too long to ramp up to a size that is even reasonable (in China),” said Chen.

Last month, Chen agreed that China was a too big a market to ignore after which there were questions all over about the company’s strategy over China. Shares of the company have surged over past few weeks after the rumors of Lenovo planning to take over the company broke out.