Product Design is not just about the physical form, it is also about people's behavior. Because we have different nationality, our culture and ethic believes shape our characters individually; such difference affect the way we response to physical or non-physical design. Therefore, a Chinese user would have completely different response to American User. That is why we need to do a lot of research about our users, isn't?
I have to admit that Lenovo might not have a strong branding image to tell that it is a Chinese design, however, it is understandable since China still developing. It takes time for country to find out what characteristic represent themselves at this period of time. (You got to know that Japan had been developed their unique characters in product design ever since WWII; the products that they produced in 1930-1950s aren't very Japanese at all)
So is Lenovo has Chinese design characteristics? my response is yes. Lenovo has the design that many American companies wouldn't do. Their design on IdeaPad and ThinkPad series have a very rectangular structural form. Black is the only color choice. Most importantly, rather than redesigning the interface, the form and the aesthetic; Lenovo choose to focus on battery life, the durability of the laptop (water-proof, drop-proof...etc), and the easy of use of the red-dot tracker and keyboard. (that is why they change the enter-key into blue colors) All of those practical focus might not satisfied majority of users in term of aesthetic;but the practicality characteristic is the main reason that people chose Lenovo over other competitors. Therefore, you will never see Lenovo's design in HP, Sony, or Apple. Neither Lenovo will follow Apple or Sony's business strategies.
In conclusion, I believe the impact of one's life experience, culture and traditions. Those factors will affect how people react differently to products, space, situations, and interaction between one and another.
I read the article from NY times, but I cannot comment much on this. Mainly because I am not from China; moreover, I had been living in Western country for a while. In order to response to the design of architecture, I need to know what kind users is museum targeting (rich, lower class of people, or tourists?) Where do they position their museum branding in that specific area? All of those factors allow me to judge the design of museum more objectively.