Motorola a "longtime love story" for Lenovo, courting reportedly started in 2011
Lenovo may have well bought themselves Motorola Mobility's devices division in what looked like a lightning quick deal, but the story apparently goes back a few years. According to TechCrunch, Lenovo was among the competitors bidding for Motorola back in 2011, but it obviously lost out to Google's $12.5 billion offer and more attractive brand cache.
Lenovo chairman and CEO, Yang Yuanqing, is cited in a WSJ report, corroborating the idea that this was long due. Apparently, the executive approached Google's Eric Schmidt after Google acquired Motorola in 2012, expressing Lenovo's continued interest in the symbolic handset maker:
"I told him if they really want to run a hardware business they could keep it," Mr. Yang told the WSJ. "If they are not interested in the hardware business, they could sell Motorola to us."
It's not at all surprising, then, that the Google chairman was the one to approach the Lenovo chief just before Thanksgiving in 2013, testing the waters. As we now know, Lenovo was obviously still quite interested, especially since rumors have it that it was in unsuccessful talks with BlackBerry not long before that. Mr. Yang was apparently quite enthusiastic, too: "And I said yes", he told the WSJ. "This was a longtime love story." This actually means that Lenovo has been looking for a shortcut to the global market pretty much as early as its smartphone division came into existence. This hopefully means that the Chinese giant is not messing around, and has been preparing for this moment for quite some time now.
But it's not a done deal just yet, at least as far as US regulators are concerned. The deal still needs to be approved, and it is likely to go through the scrutinizing gaze of the US Committee on Foreign Investment, a body that looks at transactions that it considers to entail potential national-security risks. Lenovo is said to be unconcerned, however.