By Andy Greenberg
As Nortel files for bankruptcy Wednesday, analysts point to sinking
sales, missed earnings and poor management as drivers for the Canadian
telecom's long descent to insolvency.
But a less-discussed factor may have scuttled the struggling networking
company's last hope for a savior: concerns over Chinese cyberspying.
Toronto-based Nortel, whose stock has lost more than 97% of its value in
the last year, announced in September that it would sell its metro
Ethernet business, an Internet-focused piece of the company that
generates about $1.5 billion a year in revenue.
The most interested potential acquirer of the Ethernet division may have
been Chinese company Huawei, which, according to Avian Securities, bid
$400 million for Nortel's offering in September. This was a generous
offer considering the company's current market capitalization, hammered
by debt and missed earnings projections, languishes at less than half
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