Did Edward Snowden kill PC sales in Asia?

Reports are beginning to surface that Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who leaked information about extensive government surveillance programs, may be the root of a troubling trend in PC sales. According to Testosterone Pit, an independent finance and economics blog, IBM's sales have plunged in China since revelations emerged that IBM was among the group of companies complicit with the secret spy efforts.

Quarterly revenues fell 17 percent in the company's hardware division, the blog reported. Wolf Richter, the site's author, suggested that IBM's disclosure is part of a widening concern among U.S. technology firms that are still reeling from the embarrassment of being associated with NSA snooping.

"The first shot was fired on Monday," Richter wrote. "Teradata, which sells analytics tools for Big Data, warned that quarterly revenues plunged 21 percent in Asia and 19 percent in the Middle East and Africa. Wednesday evening, it was IBM's turn to confess that its hardware sales in China had simply collapsed. Every word was colored by Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA's hand-in-glove collaboration with American tech companies, from startups to mastodons like IBM."

What remains to be see is if this kind of blow back will impact firms like Microsoft, Apple and Google. All of them were also caught essentially red-handed taking government money in exchange for allowing NSA snoopers to access their systems and obtain information. Despite declamations that Snowden mischaracterized the relationship between the NSA and the U.S. technology industry, one thing is for certain: those reputations will never come back.

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