Citibank, N.A., in China

Case Solution

David W. Conklin, Larry Li, Adrienne I. Young
Ivey Publishing ()

Citibank was the first US bank to operate in China when it opened a branch in Shanghai in 1902. Citibank was absent from China from the early 1940s until 1984, but since 1984 it had gradually reestablished an active presence. By 1997 Citibank had reached a crossroads. He had to decide how best to participate in the rapid growth of the Chinese economy and the huge influx of foreign direct investment. Citibank had many competitive advantages, on the basis of which it developed a unique strategy that excluded joint ventures. In 1997, a variety of potential new services included credit cards, RMB (Chinese currency) banking, and various fee-based services. Government regulations still severely restricted the types of credit used by foreign banks, but it was hoped that these regulations could be liberalized soon. How should Citibank, N.A. the best position for the future in China?

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