03 June 2005

Into the Fire Dell Goes

Posted by Jameson Penn

Horrified Dell executives scrambled this week to undo a public relations nightmare that erupted after one of its salesmen equated buying IBM/Lenovo PCs with support for China's communist government.

A Chinese paper published emails from a US Dell salesman identified only as "Chris" which contained unusual tactics meant to sway IBM customers from buying Lenovo hardware. After the emails were printed, Dell China apologized to Lenovo and said it would enforce disciplinary action against "Chris". Dell can little afford bad press in a high-growth market where it has struggled to outsell local rivals.

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Perhaps it was just a cold-calling shmoozer attempting to strike at the protectionist fears in his dear clients; however, as Dell is gearing up to take on Lenovo in its own domestic market, it surely doesn't need such press.

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