At the turn of the last decade, Chinese tech firms were riding high.
Lenovo was poised to overtake HP to become the planet's largest PC vendor, while emerging mobile and comms vendors such as Huawei and ZTE were cooking up plans for global dominance.
Spool forward to 2018, however, and HP has reclaimed its PC crown from Lenovo, and Huawei and ZTE have found themselves ostracised from the US over national security concerns.
And now Chinese tech stocks are being sucked into the escalating trade war between the US and China, with the US government last week banning US firms from selling components and software to ZTE for seven years. Lenovo's share price yesterday sank to its lowest value since 2009, according to Bloomberg.
The question is, should partners here be worried by the prospect of a deepening trade stand-off between the US and China and the impact it could have on the fortunes of Chinese tech vendors?
Talking to CRN, Canalys chief analyst Alastair Edwards argued that, if anything, deteriorating Sino-US relations will prompt Chinese vendors to invest more in EMEA, meaning it could actually be seen as a positive by channel partners here.
"The main implication of course is in the US, and in Europe I think the issues are far less," he said. "If anything, this is going to push the Chinese vendors to focus their attention much more on the non-US markets, and we're seeing that with Huawei in particular but also with the other mobile vendors as well.
"For Lenovo, I think they have less of an issue in the US. They still have a very strong share, both in the channel and the customer base from the IBM days, and from a branding perspective they have managed to gain a stronger global brand. Certainly in Europe they are one of the strongest vendors operating in the channel. The feedback we get from partners is pretty positive on Lenovo - they are doing a good job in the channel.
"So if you look at this from a European perspective I don't think there will be a mass shift away from Chinese vendors. I don't think partners need to worry about the issues, and I don't think vendors necessarily see it as a negative in EMEA."
That sentiment was echoed by Cliff Fox, group chief operating officer at £20m-revenue reseller Pure Technology Group, which partners with Lenovo and Huawei.
"The US will do what the US will do. Undoubtedly that will affect Chinese companies while that situation is ongoing," Fox said. "What difference does that make for us? I don't think in the short term it makes a huge difference because the supply channel through Europe has, if anything, strengthened over the last few years. For us it is business as usual with those companies."
Recent reports suggest that Huawei is gearing up to pull out of the US completely, but Fox said he felt the networking vendor is as committed as ever to Europe.
"I think Huawei have always struggled in the US, and I don't think that's any great surprise given who they go up against and brand preferences in the US," he said. "I think Europe isn't as insular, so I don't see Huawei changing their stance with the effort in Europe."
Since being listed on the Hang Seng Index in March 2013, Lenovo's share price has more than halved. It is now at risk of being dropped from Hong Kong's benchmark equity index, according to Bloomberg, which branded it the "world's worst tech stock'. Lenovo also slipped to a loss in its latest quarter.
But Paul Barlow, managing director of Lenovo partner Servium, said the Chinese vendor's fortunes on the stock market don't affect his firm.
"My understanding talking to distribution over the last three or four months is that Lenovo have been doing really quite well, especially on the client side," he said.
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