CKGSB Publication

Unleashing Innovation: Ten Cases from China on Digital Strategy and Market Expansion

Unleashing Innovation: Ten Cases from China on Digital Strategy and Market Expansion tells the stories behind eleven remarkable companies in China, including Chinese companies and global MNCs, leading the way in tech innovation and international expansion.

Purchase the book on Amazon

Over the past two decades, China has emerged as a frontrunner in global business innovation. From e-commerce empires to smart manufacturers, to tech-driven vehicle brands, to digital-minded food producers, companies in this market are leading the way in developing new business models, expanding into new markets, and creating products and services that are transforming the way we live and work.

Our case study book, Unleashing Innovation: Ten Cases from China on Digital Strategy and Market Expansion, chronicles the incredible success stories of eleven remarkable companies that are spearheading innovation in the China market with their strategy, business models, and ability to navigate the ever-changing landscape of tech innovation and globalization.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews conducted by the esteemed professors and researchers at the CKGSB Case Center, this book presents a fresh perspective on these innovative companies, offering valuable insights and learnings that holds huge significance to global businesses.

Unleashing Innovation explores business innovations in China across four key areas:

1. Homegrown Tech Innovations
The book first looks at China’s homegrown tech transformations led by tech giants like ByteDance, Alibaba, JD.com, and MYbank. These companies have deftly adapted to the rapidly changing demands of China’s domestic market and growing global opportunities.

2. Rethinking Supply Chains
Innovative new products require innovative new supply chains. EV maker NIO, electronics firm TCL, and tire manufacturer Linglong Tire have all implemented examples of cutting-edge supply chain and retail innovations that are revolutionizing the global industry.

3. Going Global
Abundant business opportunities await beyond China’s borders, as exemplified by Yili, a successful dairy producer who thrived by acquiring and developing local businesses in targeted overseas markets. Similarly, SHEIN, a fashion giant, harnessed the potential of cross-border e-commerce to make a significant impact on the global market.

4. Innovating for China
It’s not just Chinese companies that are innovating. Western brands such as Oatly and KFC have also succeeded in China’s highly competitive market through unique product and digitalization strategies.

Unleashing Innovation is designed to provide business leaders, policymakers, China watchers, and academics with thought-provoking insights into the secrets behind the cutting-edge wave of innovation taking place in the Chinese market, which is having a global impact. The book is available for purchase in hardcopy format on Amazon here.

Praise for the Book

By analyzing the business models of eleven companies in China, Unleashing Innovation: Ten Cases from China on Digital Strategy and Market Expansion is an insightful read for those who are seeking out new growth opportunities in today’s digital and interconnected world. Innovation, digitalization, and globalization—these three keywords are critically important for any CEO seeking to attain sustainable growth. Unleashing Innovation offers business leaders with the best practices and proven track record of eleven companies in China, which may be inspiring and valuable for them as they take their business to the next level.”

— Soumitra Dutta, Peter Moores Dean and Professor of Management of Saïd Business School and Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford

How to unleash innovation in an ultra-fast changing environment? CKGSB presents 10 disruptive cases from China for inspiration.”

— Professor Léon Laulusa, Directeur General, Executive President and Dean, ESCP Business School

At a time when innovation is driving the development of new FMCG brands, OATLY is at the forefront of establishing a new plant-based category and is committed to its continued development as a track that truly benefits people and the planet. This book focuses on the innovation practices of Chinese companies in the global marketplace, showing vividly how they have responded to challenges, developed new products, created new supply chains, and paved the way for China’s innovation. I believe that this book provides a window for people from all walks of life to observe Chinese innovation, and it should not be missed.”

— David Zhang, President of Greater China, OATLY; CKGSB EMBA Alumnus

As the global economy undergoes profound changes, Unleashing Innovation illuminates and inspires the restructuring of the global industrial chain. I believe that once China’s manufacturing industry is transformed and upgraded, it will no doubt contribute to the construction of a global ecosystem that champions win-win cooperation worldwide, and China’s economic potential and corporate innovations will inject new blood to the global economy.”

— Li Dongsheng, Founder and Chairman of TCL; CKGSB CEO Program Alumnus

In a world where the global business environment evolves at breakneck speed, Unleashing Innovation: Ten Cases from China on Digital Strategy and Market Expansion offers an essential lens on the symbiotic dynamic between East and West. CKGSB’s pivotal role in bridging these diverse markets creates a blueprint for future innovation and cross-cultural economic synergy. This book is not only timely but crucial in an era where understanding and leveraging global interconnectivity can make or break market leaders.”

— Michael Hart, President, American Chamber of Commerce in China

Unleashing Innovation: Ten Cases from China on Digital Strategy and Market Expansion is a crucial guide for businesses, shedding light on the intricate interplay between Chinese and foreign enterprises. This book is an invaluable resource that not only uncovers the intricacies of China’s business innovation but also provides foreign companies with valuable insights for navigating the complexities of this dynamic market. Essential reading for a comprehensive understanding of the diverse opportunities and challenges present in China’s evolving business landscape.”

— Rachel Tsang, Managing Director, British Chamber of Commerce in China

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
    • The Importance of Business Cases from China – Li Wei, Professor of Economics, Associate Dean for Asia, and Director of the Case Center, CKGSB
  • Foreword
    • Globalization in a Digitalized World – Zhou Li, Associate Dean, CKGSB
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter One: China’s Digital Transformation
    • Alibaba vs. JD.com: Business Expansion and the Flywheel Effect
    • ByteDance’s Path to Globalization: Navigating Digital Innovation and Global Politics
    • Banking on Data: MYbank’s Innovation in Supply Chain Finance
  • Chapter Two: Changing Industrial Supply Chains
    • Steering Toward Success? NIO’s First 10 Years as an EV Upstart
    • Rolling Forward: The Evolution of Linglong Tire
    • Powering Ahead: How TCL Transformed and Upgraded
  • Chapter Three: Chinese Brands Meeting the Needs of Global Tastes
    • Need for Speed: How SHEIN Became a Global Online Fashion Retailer
    • The Cream of the Crop: Yili’s Ambitions to Build a Global Dairy Company
  • Chapter Four: Western Brands Finding Success in China
    • Milking It for All It’s Worth: Oatly’s China Market Entry Strategy
    • Fast Food, Fast Success: KFC’s Digitalization Strategy in China
  • Faculty Biographies
  • About CKGSB Case Center
  • About Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business

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