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Chinese companies going global: Operational strategies and communication challenges


... VP and chief marketing office was born in India, ... In the U.S., Haier products are sold in Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Home Depot, Office Depot and Target ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chinese companies going global: Operational strategies and communication challenges

Chinese companies going global Operational
strategies and communication challenges
  • May H. Gao, Ph.D.
  • Department of Communication
  • Kennesaw State University
  • Metro Atlanta, GA

Presentation Summary
  • Current situation
  • Supporting structure
  • Government policy Financial support
  • Reasons for going global
  • Operational strategies
  • Communication challenges

From FDI to ODI
  • China has been the destination for growth in the
    past 25 years.
  • China has experienced a 36 increase in Fortune
    500 representation.
  • China has the worlds 4th economy now, after
    U.S., EU, and Japan.

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Operational strategies
  • Chinese MNCs establishing overseas production
  • Acquiring global mergers and acquisitions
  • Building up global brand names invested in
    technology and efficiency
  • Accumulating overseas capital from global stock
  • Practicing Wenzhou style snowball model

Some eyecatching deals
  • In December 2004, Lenovo acquired IBM PC branch
    with 1.5 billion dollars
  • China Mobile Communications Corp is near a
    5.3billion pact to acquire Millicom
    International Cellular SA of Luxumbourg, which
    operates in many of the world poor nations.

Going global comparison
  • Similar to Japan in 1980s and Korea in 1990s, the
    Chinese companies are in a transformation from
    labor-intensive to high value added operation.
  • But the domestic Chinese market is already very
    open and mature.
  • Hi-tech companies are going global pioneers.

Case studies
  • Lenovo-IBM deal

Lenovo, a rising computer star
  • Lenovos global headquarters are in Purchase, NY.
  • Its principal locations are in Beijing, China and
    Raleigh, NC.
  • The company employs more than 19,000 people
  • Lenovo was founded in 1984 by 11 Chinese
    scientists with RMB200,000 (US25,000) in seed
  • It was originally named as Legend, then changed
    to Lenovo in 2003.
  • In May 2005, it generates a 13billion annual
    revenue, only after Dell and HP.
  • It is global For example, its Senior VP and
    chief marketing office was born in India,
    educated in the U.S., and now works for a Chinese

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Huaweis global transformation
  • Customer-centered, innovation-driven
  • In 2003, Huawei settle in court with Cisco
    Systems for patent issues
  • Huawei strives to sell products with its own
  • Huawei employs global consulting firms for
    marketing and branding strategies
  • Huawei copies its Chinese Guanxi strategies to
    the global market
  • Think global, act local The Thai Color ringing
    and gambling signals on Huawei cell phones

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Haier, Made on Earth
  • On April 30, 1999, Haier established its American
    production base in South Carolina. In March 2003,
    the first Made in USA Haier refrigerator was
  • Haier has production bases in China, Pakistan,
    Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia,
    Iran, etc.
  • They make refrigerator, washing machine, dish
    washers, computers, laptops and cell phones.
  • Haier owns 35 share of the 200- liter American
    market. Its 5 kg- small washing machine stands as
    No 2 in Japan.
  • Innovation in technology is a key strategy. Haier
    owns a total of 5,469 patents, of which 618 are
    innovation patents.
  • In 2004 alone, Haier applied for 695 patents, 2.7
    patents per day.
  • Haier treats customers as teachers. (The French
    and Pakistan examples.)

More on Haier
  • Haier has 62 distributors and more than 30,000
    outlets around the world
  • In the U.S., Haier products are sold in Wal-Mart,
    Best Buy, Home Depot, Office Depot and Target

Chinese governmental support
  • WTO entry since Jan. 1, 2005
  • The anxiety for Foreign wolfs coming to China
  • Going global became a national policy in 10th
    Five year plan for 2001-2005
  • The government provides support for 50 Chinese
    companies to be listed on the fortune 500 before
  • A move from defense to offence in marketing
    and competition after Chinas accession to WTO.

Specific support policies
  • Eased loan procedures
  • Bank conglomeration supports going global
    companies (for example, Jingdongfang got 740
    million from 9-bank group.)
  • The appreciation of Chinese currency (from 8.3 in
    2005 to 7.9 in 2006)
  • Chinese currency developing toward hard currency

Various forms of going global
  • Export and import
  • Listing on global stock markets
  • H-share (listed in Hong Kong, New York, London,
    and Singapore)
  • Searching for resources, e.g. oil, iron, other
  • Bidding for overseas projects (construction,
    mining, highway and railways)

Some statistics
  • Till May 2004, there are 7720 Chinese companies
    registered abroad, totally 33billion dollars in
  • They are in 160 countries.
  • Just from Jan to May 2004, there are 250
    companies going global, with 767 million in
    investment, up 65.56 and 40.62.
  • Half of total investment is in Hong Kong and
    Macao, next would be North America, Oceania and
    Europe. The first 10 destination countries
    absorbs 80 of Chinese ODI.
  • Most investment takes the form of joint ventures,
    M A, etc.
  • The focus of investment is in resource industry,
    and consumer products (including home electronic
  • Small and medium companies account for 70 of the
    outward investments.

Three dialectics before going global
  • 1. Establishing manufacturing base in China or
  • 2. Executing marketing by self or others
  • 3. Going with own brand or other brand
  • Some scholars are against production abroad.
  • Haire has factories in the U.S., Glanze only in
    China, but TCL produces also in Pakistan

Global distribution of global Chinese operation
  • Highly competitive companies enter European,
    Japanese and North American markets.
  • Small and medium companies start with emerging
    markets in Russia, Eastern Europe, Southeast
    Asia, Australia, Latin America, and Africa.
  • Asia is the top destination of Chinese ODI.

Reasons for the going global policy
  • Outstanding bank savings in both RMB and USD.
  • Since 1994, savings total exceeds loans total in
    Chinese banks. In 2001, savings in banks exceeds
    loans by 3,200 billions RMB Foreign currency
    reserve exceeds loans by 50 billions dollars.
    (Of course loan policy for Chinese companies are
    not smooth.)
  • Labor costs in China will continue to rise 30 to
    50 in the next 3-5 years.
  • Many Chinese companies accumulated global
    operational experience.
  • Some companies want to avoid fierce domestic
    competition in China.
  • A strong Chinese economy

Purpose of going global
  • Market expansion
  • Resource seeking
  • Securing strategic assets (technology,
    management, human resource)

Mergers and Acquisitions
  • In Jan 2003, Jingdongfang Group bought out the
    Korean Hynix and kept its 1700 Korean employees,
    with 380million to product Type V TFT screen
  • In 2004, Chinas zinc and copper producer China
    Minmetals negotiated a deal of 5.5 billion to
    take over Noranda, Canadas binnest mining
  • In 2004, TCL claimed a 55 stake in a 100 million
    euro joint venture with French telecommunications
    giant Alcatel.

Communication challenges
  • Chinese companies inefficient conflict
    management style,
  • Low proficiency in understanding local cultures,
  • Lack of 24/7 service communication with the

Inefficient cultural localization
  • It is not easy to overcome barriers of language,
    corporation cultural difference, national
    cultural difference, and hiring habits after M
  • Teams of multinational employees working together
    now in Chinese companies
  • M A causes core talents departure

Insufficient understanding of cultures
  • The most serious problem facing Chinese companies
    is a lack of international experience and weak
    marketing and management structures, including
    communication skills.
  • This is why Lenovo let IBM managers to stay after
    the acquisition.

Perception and marketing
  • Chinese brands suffer from negative perceptions,
    and perhaps, negative realities. Reported by
    brand consulting firm Interbrand.
  • Current perception of Chinese brands cheap, poor
    value, low quality, produced by communists.

Wenzhou shoes tragedy
  • The China-made shoes got burned in Spain because
    of perception of Chinese companies unfair
  • Wenzhou merchants do not understand local customs
    are not motivated to adapt in terms of
    linguistic, time and space concepts.

Ineffective conflict management style
  • The Nanfu vs. Duracell case
  • Cultural tariff is a deeper tariff than trade
  • Chinese companies need to take on more social
    responsibilities in local societies. (the India
    iron mine case)
  • The best policy of adaptation is to transform
    from going global to Going local

Interpretive and Critical Approaches to Social
  • Conflict is deeply rooted in cultural differences
    in the context of social, economic, and
    historical conflict.

Face and Conflict
  • Ting-Toomey (1991) suggests that the direct and
    indirect styles of communication for conflict
    management are based on different cultural values
    for identity and face saving.

Gree Case in Brazil
  • Gree Electronics has a production base in Brazil
    and aims to bring the Gree Chinese culture into
    Brazil. The workers feel being deprived of human
    right under Chinese management.

Political factor
  • Resentment against Chinese companies, perceiving
    them as being government controlled (Lenovo vs.
  • China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)
    losts its deal to Chevron in its Unocal bid in
  • The Chinese companies are not taking over the
    world, their investment value is only a fraction
    of the worlds total.

  • Being the worlds low-cost factory floor is no
    longer the countrys singular ambition.
  • Chinese entrepreneurs are asking Should China
    buy Wal-mart?
  • It is an opportunity for all.