theodp writes "Back in 2005, Wharton's Michael Useem speculated that IBM's sale of its PC Division to Lenovo was more about ingratiating Big Blue with the Chinese government than getting top dollar for the assets. 'Government relationships are key in China,' Useem explained. Now, a NY Times article on outgoing IBM CEO Samuel J. Palmisano seems to confirm that Useem's analysis was spot-on. From the NYT article: 'In 2004, I.B.M. sold its PC business to Lenovo of China. Mr. Palmisano says he deflected overtures from Dell and private equity firms, preferring the sale to a company in China for strategic reasons: the Chinese government wants its corporations to expand globally, and by aiding that national goal, I.B.M. enhanced its stature in the lucrative Chinese market, where the government still steers business.'"