BlackBerry CEO John Chen wants to grow the business he’s already saved. One of the areas he believes BlackBerry can gain some traction is in China due to the demand for secure and private encryption there. Some doors may be opening up in the near future thanks to recent talks Chen has had with some of the biggest companies out there.
In interview today in Beijing, after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit, John Chen said he’s interested in possible partnerships with companies like Xiaomi Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd; two of the biggest of the region.
“It does seem that a more efficient way is to have a good partner to be here,” Chen mentioned. “I’m here this time to look at what opportunities there may be. We have not really focused on this market. It’s a huge market but it’s a very highly competitive market too.”
Chen made sure to clarify that BlackBerry is not for sale, and that discussing partnerships like this does not imply anything of that sort. “I’m not looking to sell the company,” Chen said. “I’m very much looking to operate the company as an independent company.”
And operating and growing in China is what seems to be the next logical move. Chen estimates that out of the over 40 million BlackBerry users worldwide, only a few hundred thousand users exist in China. That marks a huge opportunity to cash in in an area many Android OEMs are starting to take a look at again.
“What I’m doing is to explore what is the right approach to the market given what we do well and I’m not shutting any doors,” Chen said. “This market is not an easy one to get deals done quickly. It’s going to take a while, but I’m interested.”
It’s still too early to go out on a crazy speculative rant, but like always, Chen is not keeping his arms crossed. He’s taking action.