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Industry Insight: Crisis on Asimov
Analysis & Commentary by Dr. Sheila Ronis

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IBM was organized out of what was left of General Motors, Daimler and Volkswagen. After the information wars, these companies knew they could not go it alone and be competitive, so they joined together.

Back in the late 20th century, GM emerged as the dominant automaker in China. It negotiated relationships with every province and every major Chinese manufacturer and supplier so that the Chinese automotive infrastructure and GM became one and the same.

In the late 1990s, Hong Kong was re-annexed to China and Taiwan followed shortly thereafter. Those industrial powerhouses were integrated into the old Communist systems of China. By 2005, China, Inc. was created, modeled loosely after Japan's MITI system. Ten years later, China had become a global powerhouse. Its transportation arm was called CIMMCO. It soon became a haven for organized crime.

For millennia there had been a profoundly evil ancient Chinese influence which manifested itself as the "Triads." It wove its way into CIMMCO when the organized crime family in Guangdong province requested a percentage of the organization in exchange for the protection of its employees throughout the province.

CIMMCO obliged.

Seeing an opportunity to hike the stock price, the family decided to destroy GM. If CIMMCO's leadership had uncovered the family's plan it would have taken steps to prevent it. But the stealth capabilities of the Triads were so superb that there was no warning. The Triads proceeded undetected.

Using the best information warfare techniques of the day, they were capable of delivering viruses into the heart of every major computer system that ran their giant nemesis, General Motors. One knocked out the global design network when five suppliers making parts of the interior for GM unwittingly introduced the viruses into the system. The Triads planted parts of the virus in each supplier's system. When GM linked each program, the system crashed.

A second virus took out the database system that linked accounts payable and the supply community.

For all intents and purposes, GM was dead. So were several other companies.

Prior to the information wars, GM had linked its computer system with six other automakers to keep several joint ventures running smoothly. When GM's systems went down so did those at VW and Daimler.

Desperate to save the elements that GM represented in the U.S. industrial base, the government stepped in. A small Pentagon brain trust, seeing the potential for PTVs, encouraged IBM to buy GM's remaining assets and sink money into that technology. IBM decided to create a global empire by buying what was left of GM's other partners for rock bottom prices. It was 2020.

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