Haier: Taking a Chinese Company Global in 2011

Case Solution

Tarun Khanna, Krishna G. Palepu, Phillip Andrews
Harvard Business School ()

In 2011, Haier, China’s top home appliance maker, had global sales of more than $ 20 billion and was just named the world’s top refrigerator maker. This case describes Haier’s rise over three decades from a disused refrigerator factory in China’s Shandong province to an international player with overseas sales of US $ 5.5 billion. Haier followed an unconventional expansion strategy by entering the developed markets of Europe and the United States as a niche player before venturing into the Middle East and neighboring Asian markets. Looking ahead to the next decade, Haier CEO Zhang Ruimin saw opportunities for Haier to grow through product diversification and additional market penetration in both developed and emerging markets. He and his colleagues would rely on his expertise to acquire numerous companies, enter and maintain new markets, restructure the organization, and manage hundreds of subsidiaries around the world. They would have to determine which of Haier’s experiences from international activities should be implemented in China and which skills learned domestically could best be applied abroad.

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