BlackBerry in International Markets: Balancing Business Interests and Host Nations' Security Concerns
* To understand the various issues and challenges facing a company in international markets. * To understand the controversy regarding BlackBerry usage and also why this controversy is more prominent in Asia and the Middle East. * To analyze the remedial measures available to RIM in addressing the national security concerns and its business interests effectively. * To understand the strategic lessons from Blackberry episode for MNCs in general and for technology and telecom companies in particular Research In Motion (RIM), a Canadian company, was the maker of the BlackBerry smatphone. Mike Lazaridis, founder and co-CEO of RIM, launched the first BlackBerry smartphone in 2002. Initially Blackberries were sold to business entities and government agencies in UK, US and Canada, but later in 2005 as the smartphone market took off all over the world, RIM decided to expand its overseas business. At that time RIM had no clue that its biggest selling point - strong encryption built into the design of the BlackBerry system that guaranteed customers privacy- would turn out be a major hurdle in its overseas expansion spree, especially in Asia and the Middle East. This case study discusses Research In Motion's (RIM, maker of BlackBerry smartphone) dilemma of striking a balance between its business interests and the security concerns of governments across the world. In 2010, the UAE government imposed a ban on the BlackBerry and created a furor in countries like India, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, etc., as well. The governments of these countries considered the phone a national security threat due to the strong encryption built into the design of its system that blocked security agencies from tracking communications carried over these devices. This encryption system was developed by RIM to guarantee customers' privacy - a major unique selling proposition...
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