NCIX

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Netlink Computer Inc.
NCIX
Private
Industry Online retail sales
Fate Bankruptcy
Founded April 28, 1996
Founder Steve Wu
Defunct December 1, 2017
Headquarters Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Website www.ncix.com [defunct]

Netlink Computer Inc. (doing business as NCIX) was an online computer hardware and software retailer based in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, founded in 1996 by Steve Wu (伍啟儀).[1][2][3] It had retail outlets in Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond and Langley, British Columbia, as well as Markham, Mississauga, Scarborough, Ontario and Ottawa, Ontario. At one point, NCIX had 3 shipping facilities, one in Richmond, British Columbia, another in Markham, Ontario, and one in Industry, California. By July 17, 2017, NCIX had closed the Mississauga, Toronto, and Ottawa retail locations. NCIX declared bankruptcy with the Supreme Court of British Columbia on December 1, 2017 and is no longer processing orders.

History[edit]

NCIX store (now defunct)

Steve Wu was born in Taishan, Guangdong province in 1968.[1] In 1986, he was accepted into the South China University of Technology program for the Design of Chemical Machinery.[1][better source needed] Three years later, he graduated and immigrated to Canada with his parents.

On April 28, 1996, Wu established Netlink Computer Inc.[1][better source needed] [4], a walk-in retail outlet in Burnaby, British Columbia.[5] In 1997, a website was conceived to provide a growing number of Canadian and U.S. customers access to the store’s large selection of computing products online.[1][better source needed]

In 2002, the company—which had become known as NCIX—began establishing additional walk-in retail outlets in the Metro Vancouver area, and debuted a new online store acquired from an unnamed development and marketing team in Toronto[citation needed]. The Vancouver, British Columbia (BC) store (located on West Broadway) opened in 2003, and the Richmond, BC store was opened to the public in 2004.

In 2010, NCIX expanded its retail presence in Eastern Canada with two outlets and a showroom/distribution center in Markham and Scarborough, Ontario. They also opened additional BC retail stores in Sea Island Way, Coquitlam, and Langley[citation needed]; and in 2011, an NCIX retail outlet opened in Mississauga, ON.

Also in 2011, NCIX's new distribution center began operating in California, U.S.A., working with a new shipping facility in the city Industry, California in order to serve U.S. residents faster and more economically[citation needed]. In addition, NCIX opened two business-to-business (B2B) call centers, one in Richmond and the other in their old (West Broadway) Vancouver store, as they had opened a new, larger NCIX retail outlet three blocks west of their old location. Also in 2011, NCIX was the first to open an official Samsung Partnership store in North America, located in Aberdeen Centre, Richmond, Metro Vancouver, British Columbia[citation needed].

Demise[edit]

As one of the few surviving PC retail chains in Canada the company "invested heavily in large walk-in retail outlets...all of which were expensive to run", rather than further online sales assets to compete more effectively against Amazon and Newegg. Furthermore the company prioritized "sales of individual computer parts over complete systems" at a time when consumers and “millennial gamers with relatively high disposable incomes” opted for built systems from trusted brands while "the number of hobbyists who want to build their own hardware is dwindling".[6][7]

In July 2017, NCIX closed all their Ontario retail outlets in Ottawa, Mississauga, and Toronto and shortly after its Markham headquarters office[8].

In November 2017, NCIX closed their Vancouver, Burnaby, and Coquitlam stores. Canada Computers then announced that they had taken over the leases on these locations.[9]

On November 30, 2017, the last retail store located in Lansdowne Mall, Richmond had been closed, with only their headquarters in Richmond left.[10]

On December 1, 2017, NCIX filed for bankruptcy with the Supreme Court of British Columbia, under File Number 170816.[11][12][13]

Server data breach[edit]

On August 1, 2018 a Craigslist ad “NCIX Database Servers - $1500 (Richmond BC)” was found by Travis Doering of Privacy Fly, indicating unerased servers and data from NCIX operations were available for sale containing user data dating back 15 years ago. Employee data (including Social Insurance Numbers) were also leaked. The data was obtained from an abandoned warehouse that NCIX used to store servers prior to their bankruptcy after the servers were sold to make up for the $150,000 rent fees owed to the owner of the warehouse.[14] This prompted an investigation by the RCMP and Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia, and the police have seized the servers.[15] Despite this, the data on the servers had been sold and copied multiple times before the servers were seized.[14] Software engineer Kipling Warner since sued NCIX and their auctioneer for failing to properly protect the information.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Information about Steve Wu". 21cbh.com. August 31, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  2. ^ NCIX Files for Bankruptcy After Restructuring Attempts
  3. ^ NCIX在安省关闭三家零售店 仅剩万锦店
  4. ^ "Company History". Facebook.
  5. ^ http://us.ncix.com/go/?about
  6. ^ https://www.anandtech.com/show/12115/ncix-files-for-bankruptcy-after-restructuring-attempts
  7. ^ https://biv.com/article/2018/04/bankruptcy-electronics-retailer-ncix-both-opportunity-and-warning-competitors
  8. ^ "Contact Us – Email – Phone Number – NCIX Store Locations – NCIX". www.ncix.com.
  9. ^ "Store Locator – Canada Computers & Electronics". www.canadacomputers.com.
  10. ^ Synek, Greg (2018-12-02). "NCIX files for bankruptcy after closing all retail stores". TechSpot. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  11. ^ "PC parts retailer NCIX files for bankruptcy after closing physical storefronts". pcgamer. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  12. ^ Shilov, Anton. "NCIX Files for Bankruptcy After Restructuring Attempts". Retrieved 2017-12-05.
  13. ^ Chan, Kenneth (2017-12-04). "Vancouver-based NCIX files for bankruptcy after closing all stores". Daily Hive. Retrieved 2018-10-14.
  14. ^ a b Doering, Travis. "NCIX DATABREACH". www.privacyfly.com. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  15. ^ "RCMP investigates after servers of bankrupt NCIX allegedly offered for sale with data intact | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  16. ^ "Proposed class action lawsuit claims data breach exposed personal information of 258,000 people | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 26 September 2018.

External links[edit]