"In July 2003, Sam Palmisano, the chief executive of IBM,
traveled to Beijing to explore the sale of the company's personal
computer business. But he did not start by making the usual visit
with executives of IBM's preferred partner, Lenovo, China's largest
personal computer maker.
"Instead, Palmisano first engaged in a bit of old-fashioned
courtship. Before formally approaching Lenovo, he sought permission
from the parents, by meeting privately with a senior Chinese
government official in charge of economic and technology
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