Global Markets

Lenovo’s CEO says a trade war isn’t good for anyone, calls on US and China to resolve differences

As the U.S. and China weigh their next steps to defuse tensions on trade war, the CEO of Chinese computer giant Lenovo is calling on both countries to work out their differences.

In an appearance in New York City this week, Yuanqing Yang, Lenovo’s top executive, warned that there would be no winners in a prolonged trade war.

“As a global company, we definitely don’t think it is good for either economy or consumers,” Yang said to CNBC at an event. “We should see the two governments sit down and reach an agreement,” he added.

Lenovo’s business could be hit by a standoff that’s seen tariffs imposed on billions of goods and services between the two countries. Earlier this month, President Donald Trump threatened to impose new tariffs on at least $200 billion worth of Chinese goods “ready to go,” following $50 billion in tariffs both countries have already imposed on each other.

That threat hangs over Chinese technology companies like Lenovo, which leads HP, Dell and Apple in worldwide market share in the number PCs shipped, according to data from Gartner.

Lenovo’s largest markets are the Americas, China and Europe, accounting for 85 percent of its sales, according to research company Hoovers. As a result of its supply chain diversity—Lenovo has plants in Singapore, India, Japan, Brazil, Switzerland, among others—the company may be positioned to weather a prolonged trade war, Hoovers added.

Still, Chinese tech exporters are facing “significant” headwinds if the world’s two largest economies don’t reach an accord, according to the Consumer Technology Association. Already, Chinese export data showed a sharp drop in August as the U.S. and China continued to exchange salvos in their trade skirmish.

“Simply put, these tariffs will make going online more expensive for everyone,” wrote Sage Chandler, staff vice president of international trade, in a blog post last month.


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