Lenovo's founder Liu Chuanzhi 'talks politics' again

The head of the world's No 2 computer maker admits China's political environment has 'changed significantly'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 10:40am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 January, 2014, 10:50am

Liu Chuanzhi, the founder of Lenovo and chairman of Legend Holdings, left China's business leaders divided last year by cautioning his peers "to stay out of politics and talk only business."

Yet on Tuesday, months after the leader of the world's second-largest computer maker uttered the "don't talk politics" comment, Liu admitted in a speech that China's political environment had "changed significantly" and "far exceeded" his expectations, reported Sina News.

The Communist Party's plans to further pursue economic reforms and promote a market economy, which were unveilled during the pivotal third plenum in Beijing in November, had dispelled his previous doubts about the prospect of doing business in China, explained Liu in an optimistic tone. 

"Now if the market is to play a central role and the government only plays the referee, only you will decide if you are going to win the race," he said, urging business leaders to seek new opportunities and make the most out of the new economic environment.

Liu, talking to his peers from the elite Zhisland online club in Hainan, also admitted that his "don't talk politics" speech made months ago was only meant for a private audience. He said he had not expected his comment to be taken out of context and "leaked" to the media.

"[What I said back then] didn't indicate that I didn't care about politics," he explained, "It only meant I had the option of not talking about it due to future uncertainties."

"I am sure we will run into more troubles and conflicts," he added, "But our country will only move forward if we each take good care of our own buisiness."

“Don’t talk politics” is a popular Chinese saying that advises people to steer clear of public affairs and mind their own business. After Liu's comment was publicised last year, some of his peers expressed their disappointment and argued that business leaders should "share bigger responsiblilites" and should not "kneel" to power.

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