Microsoft
Microsoft, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei 'evince' interest in BlackBerry               (Reuters)

BlackBerry has reportedly again emerged as a takeover target. Microsoft and a number of Chinese smartphone vendors such as Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei have reportedly evinced interest in BlackBerry, according to unidentified sources quoted by DigiTimes.

Through the acquisition, the Chinese companies are aiming to expand their business in the US and Europe, while enhancing their products and patent portfolios, the sources are quoted as saying.

But it would be difficult for the Chinese firms to pass the scrutiny of US and European regulatory agencies.

Microsoft has reportedly commissioned investment companies to evaluate the possibility of taking over BlackBerry, in a bid to enhance its competitiveness in the mobile business segment, according to the sources.

Microsoft seems to have an edge to take over BlackBerry, as the Canada-based company has shifted its focus to software from hardware, the sources said.

BlackBerry cutting jobs worldwide

BlackBerry recently announced that it was cutting jobs across the world, as the company is consolidating its device software, hardware and applications business, reports the Hamilton Spectator.

Although it is not known how many people will be affected or the locations where the layoffs are taking place, the company said the consolidation is "impacting a number of employees around the world".

The company added that it was reallocating resources to capitalise on growth opportunities and achieve profit across all areas of business.

While the company is cutting jobs on the smartphone side, it is hiring people in sales and marketing. The company's site lists 90 job openings that include 69 in North America and 31 in Waterloo.

Carmi Levy, a London-based analyst who closely follows BlackBerry, says such a combination of cuts and new hires indicates that the company is reducing its focus on devices while ramping up the software and services sides of the business.