As I think about my efforts in alarming our industry regarding Ninestar Corporation , Lexmark , and all its subsidiaries. I wish I had not bet so heavily on the Business Technology Association (BTA) to help, as they obviously fell far short of my aspirations.
Now, it's up to me to discuss Konica Minolta and its ties to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-banned Peoples Republic Of China (PRC) Ninestar!
Will KONICA MINOLTA, INC. tell the truth about Ninestar or take a page from Lexmark, who continues to distort and distract from the facts regarding Ninestar's ownership of them?
On a recent episode of The End Of The Day With Ray! I chastised the BTA's attempt to discuss the DHS ban through a panel discussion at their annual meeting held in Boston back in August. I want to share more details regarding that chastising and its purpose in this weekend's article.
Our industry's oldest peer group, The BTA, had an excellent opportunity to bring one of the industry's most significant challenges front and center.
However, Because the BTA board could not get out of their comfort zone, I believe they allowed fellow board member Bob Goldberg, to lead the first honest discussion on the subject completely unprepared. Thereby, the forum missed critical components.
It is very apparent that many in the industry have a severe fear of conflict. I fear that if the industry's actors do not figure out that the destruction caused through the comforts of pandering is far worse than the painful conflicts for improvement.
Over the last few months, on more than one occasion, I have made the industry aware of the signing ceremony between the then-CEO of Konica and the CEO of Ninestar held on August 28, 2019.
With any relationship with Ninestar, Konica Minolta could be much worse than Ninestar's ownership of Lexmark. The reason is that Konica Minolta is a more significant player within the BTA space than Lexmark.
Konica Minolta is also obviously under tremendous financial pressure. Financial pressures could create unimaginable partnerships. I believe that Konica Minolta could be influenced to shift all its printer and MFP manufacturing to the DHS-banned PRC Ninestar.
As a matter of fact, I believe that had COVID not existed, Konica Minolta, at this point, would have most of its manufacturing being done through Ninestar in Zhuhai China.
Konica Minolta needs to explain the current status of its Ninestar relationship. Konica Minolta also has many subsidiaries and should clarify if Ninestar has any equity positions in any of those subsidiaries.
It seems that many in the industry are confused about exactly who Ninestar is or how Ninestar has spread its tentacles through the industry.
Many think of Ninestar as the clone toner manufacturer. Some within the industry believe that if they only use OEM toner, they don't have to worry about doing business with Ninestar. My friends that is as naïve as believing Lexmark is an American company, rather than its reality that a DHS-banned PRC is their owner.
The industry will soon begin competing against each other based on the realities of equipment manufacturing, especially as most of the free world is tired of PRC entities using slave labor in their manufacturing processes. Or worse, atrocities the CCP allows the PRC entities, enabling them to defeat businesses throughout a fair and free world.
Here's my thinking: Anyone wishing to compete against Konica Minolta, I suggest they show their customer or prospect the picture in this article of Konica Minolta's CEO and Ninestar's signing an agreement.
Ask the Konica Minolta customer who proudly displays patriotism if the banned PRC Ninestar manufactures their Konica Minolta machine; the copier they have under the American Flag in their warehouse.
Some may ask Ray why you care about this Ninestar issue. It's simple: I hate communism, and anytime the DHS bans any PRC company from bringing products into the U.S. supply chain. I believe one's patriotic duty is to support that ban and help the free world eliminate supply demands from all PRC entities using slave labor in their manufacturing processes.
My free-world industry friends, I hope all of you think this way, too. Unfortunately, our industry has many hypocrites within its walls. Folks all rally at the 4th of July party, and when it's time to sacrifice business revenues or profits, the Flag and those gatherings celebrating Freedom are quickly forgotten!
Some folks parade around in support of veterans, and when given a chance to hold accountable a DHS-banned PRC, these folks look the other way.
The DHS banning of Ninestar created an excellent opportunity for the print industry to unite against the atrocities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its Dictator. Instead, it seems many decided to focus on how the banned PRC has nothing to do with the subsidiaries it owns.
For those of my friends who still wish to support Lexmark, The DHS banned Ninestar's largest subsidiary. I don't know what else to do to make you think differently. I disagree with your decision and hope that one day soon you will realize that providing revenues to a Banned PRC by continuing to support its largest subsidiary is in essence supporting the atrocities of the banned PRC.
I have to believe that when those still supporting Lexmark or any Ninestar subsidiary realize that, they will immediately end those relationships. I hope these friends of mine end those relationships before their end-users become aware they didn’t.
I think about some of my old friends whose parents fought and died to eliminate fascism and communism in the 1940s. Some of these folks participated themselves in the war to eradicate communism from Vietnam. Yet, they say nothing regarding Ninestar and still support Ninestar's largest subsidiary, Lexmark.
It makes me wonder if Hitler had controlled a major typewriter manufacturing operation utilizing slave labor, would the BTA back in 1940 be looking for a reason to continue doing business with one of the Nazi's subsidiaries?
Would the BTA have given the Nazis due process as they so eagerly have afforded the PRC Ninestar today? Even though the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) is based in Rebuttable Presumption.
Remember, it took weeks for the BTA to evict Ninestar from the BTA and scrape their logo from the BTA's website.
As I think now about, the BTA being more upset with me having the BTA's logo on my website than the logo of a DHS-banned PRC on theirs. That should have been my clue not to expect any real substance from the BTA's board regarding the issues of Ninestar.
I think about the picture the BTA proudly displays of a gathering of its members in the late 1920s; lately, I have been thinking about what these folks would think of the weakness our industry has today regarding standing up against PRC's banned over slave labor.
I want to clarify that I have volunteered numerous times to help the BTA, but they always refused. So, anyone who believes I should have addressed these concerns at the event. Please think about why I didn't.
After being refused and Bob sharing how he expected me to disrupt his picnic panel discussion, I decided it would be better to help dealers without attempting to navigate the BTA's obsession with pandering and complacency.
At this point, I am convinced a few of the BTA's board members are more upset with me shaking up the BTA's complacency than the impacts a DHS-banned PRC using slave labor would have on its members.
Soon, I expect a video to be published on the BTA's YouTube channel! Titled, The End Of The Day With Ray, Is worse for the industry than a PRC using enslaved people! OK, that was me thinking out-loud!
As I publicly told the BTA Board as they continue to dismiss my help I do not need their cooperation to help them. Yes, my friends I am trying to help them.
OK, back to Konica Minolta
Today, I asked Konica Minolta a question the moderator, Bob, should have asked. Please share with the entire world exactly what your relationship with Ninestar is all about.
Konica Minolta has either enhanced its Ninestar relationship or dismantled its relationship with the banned PRC Ninestar. It's one or the other.
I hope they informed Ninestar that they were terminating all agreements and ending the relationship the day the DHS banned Ninestar and eight subsidiaries over SLAVE LABOR! A banning associated with the UFLPA.
The impacts of PRC entities within the industry will be tremendous, and the industry needs its leaders to stop hiding from this issue. It's easy to ride around wearing leather jackets praising veterans.
However, sacrificing as those veterans you praise is hard. Just think about this as some motivation; It is a whole lot easier to sacrifice revenues and profits. Our veterans sacrificed their limbs and lives to fight against the atrocities committed by dictators!
Let's stand together and not allow any PRC to manipulate the decencies of freedom-loving people.
Status quo is the killer of all that will be invented.
Ray Stasieczko. Host of The End Of The Day With Ray!