China, and Lexmark! Is it Time To Say NO? 

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Date: Monday March 20, 2023 04:37:54 pm
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  • jim

    As Lexmark goes, so does the industry regarding China. Over the next couple of years, the coming China-owned technology crisis will impact the printer business globally. The Print OEM with the most significant exposure to disruption will be Ninestar Corporation, Lexmark brand.

    New China Tech Threat Paper Details Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in U.S. State Government Purchases of Lexmark and Lenovo Equipment - China Tech Threat

    Lexmark, the free world’s A4 MFP, will face many challenges. In the past, the Lexmark brand got a pass. However, the ownership of Lexmark is now totally controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. When Apex, now Ninestar, bought Lexmark through a cooperative venture with the private equity groups PAG and Legends. Many, I included, were hoping that the Chinese Communist Party Company would not take more ownership and that there could be protection between China’s communist government and Lexmark.


    Unfortunately, that is no longer a reality. Ninestar, a China Communist Owned company, has over 65% ownership, and only the naive believe that Lexmark is in any way a Lexington, Kentucky company. The future probability of banning China-owned print technology companies in US government environments would also cause significant awareness among non-government businesses. The end-users will eliminate any risk by simply not buying Lexmark.


    This elimination of China Owned print technology will also create new OEM relationships. For example, this dynamic could be the spark that will ignite Epson America Inc. and Brother USA to form manufacturing relationships with the laser-based OEMs—replacing the A4 Lexmark. That dynamic expedites my vision of the A4-Ink Revolution throughout business printing.  This conversation will be a hard one for the industry. As our friends at Lexmark are, family Lexmark was once a great American story. Lexmark was ahead of the marketplace with its A4 technologies.


    However, as I have been warning for the last year, geopolitics will cause many hardships, and the realities of those hardships are becoming more apparent daily. I think it’s essential for all to understand that the first geopolitical disruption will be a banning by government agencies here in the US and abroad of technology products from China Communist Party-Owned Companies. As a result, both Lexmark and Lenovo Compute products are highly likely to face significant scrutiny.


    Many say, “Ray, all the print OEMs are manufacturing in China.” That’s not the issue. It is the Chinese ownership of the company that is the concern. We can use technologies to prevent hacking within the equipment itself. However, the China Owned Companies have a boss and their offices’ worldwide report to the boss back in China. This dilemma will cause a disruption, and as with all disruptions, those who prepare for what was once unimaginable navigate much easier than those who ignore the painful probabilities. 
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