China Seen Losing Sheen for IBM, Nike as Hurdles Mount

Matt Townsend, Liza Lin

Companies from IBM to Starbucks are struggling with new obstacles in China as Communist Party officials tussle over the direction and depth of economic reforms.

China’s state-controlled media last week accused Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) with charging too much for coffee and said Samsung Electronics Co.’s smartphones don’t work properly. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) IBM’s China revenue slipped 22 percent in the third quarter, contributing to the first-ever sales decline in the company’s growth-markets division, as state-owned companies started delaying orders, including mainframes and servers.