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Business deals

Ricoh-Toshiba deal driven by pandemic-era telecommuting and more

China's technology transfer rules another possible reason to merge printer operations

Ricoh President and CEO Akira Oyama, right, and Toshiba Tec counterpart Hironobu Nishikori shake hands in Tokyo on May 19. (Photo by Mayumi Tsumita)

TOKYO -- When Ricoh and Toshiba announced plans Friday to combine production of printers, copiers and other office machines, they cited declining demand and the rise of remote work. But preventing the outflow of cutting-edge technology to China might have also factored in.

"The coronavirus changed the landscape," Ricoh President and CEO Akira Oyama told a news conference here in a blunt assessment of the restructuring's timing.

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